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Philadelphia Honors ‘Queen of Hats’

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reeves mae Philadelphia Honors ‘Queen of Hats’A special ceremony was held on Tuesday afternoon at the African-American Museum for Philadelphia fashion pioneer Mae Reeves, celebrating her 60 years as the queen of hats.
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KYW’s Karin Phillips reports Reeves opened her first hat shop on South Street in 1940, selling hats to women from all over the area — as well as to luminaries like Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, and Lenore Annenberg.

Now 97, Reeves (left) is being honored by the City of Philadelphia and others for her pioneering work in millinery and business:

“I was just so happy, especially to make hats that did something to the lady.  You know, you can make a hat but it might not be for you.  But when you make hats, especially for a face, I think that’s something that’s given to you.”

Artifacts from Reeves’ life and career, including 30 of her designs, will become part of the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture, which will open in 2015.