Three Manhattan milliners
Patricia Underwood, Anne Moore
and Eric Javits — are leading
the revival in hats.
BY RHONDA COHEN
n the 1930s and '40s, women donned hats
with pride as they paraded down the street.
Now, in the spring of '89, hats are popular
again, from the fancifully trimmed to the
broad-brimmed, and three New York City
milliners are heading the renaissance.
London-born Patricia Underwood, who
has been designing hats for 15 years,
originally became involved in hatmaking through her
strong interest in fashion. "I took a class at F.I.T.
(Manhattan's Fashion Institute of Technology) but had
no set hat or fashion design experience," recalls
Underwood from her West 40th Street studio. "I
learned a lot from the people I worked with in the
industry and eventually hooked up with a schoolmate
to start a hat business. Then, in 1976, I branched off
into my own business."
Underwood's broad-brimmed straw hats
appearing in fashion layouts in publications like the
may now be synonomous with
New York Times
elegance but it wasn't easy to make her name known.
"At that time, there was no competition (in the hat
business) and I had to really rely on my wits and
persistence to keep me going," she says, recalling the
first hat she ever made, a green velour with a red
ribbon inside. "I had to bring my stuff to the stores
myself because my main goal was to keep going, get