PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A factory in the Northeast is one of the highlights of Philadelphia’s Fashion Week. One local hat designer is turning the heads of the rich and famous.
The crowns range from petite and plain to big and bodacious.
Rev. Georgette Morgan bought American Hats LLC on Farley Street in 2016. The tiny factory employs ten people, which is down from 38 in its heyday.
The nimble staff blocks, nips, tucks and bakes fabric.
“All of our hats are handmade,” Morgan said.
The designers produce more than 100 unique headpieces every week.
The millinery began when Morgan retired. She wanted to do something fun so she turned to hats.
“I love hats so being here is like being a kid in a candy store,” Morgan said.
So she helped save the 90-year-old factory, bringing new life to a place that for years made its mark serving as a catalyst for creative crowns around the world.
“The hat that Cecile Tyson wore at Aretha Franklin’s funeral was originally made here,” Morgan said.
They even recreate those worn on famous heads, like Beyonce.
American Hats just opened a boutique inside of the new Fashion District and they’ll take part in Philadelphia Fashion Week.
And this is just the beginning.
“My vision is to have my 38 people working here, to also expand to other factories and to teach youth about hat-making,” Morgan said.
It’s a crowning achievement she hopes will inspire a new generation of American hat-makers.