Sunday, March 4, 2007

A Warm Trapper Hat

by Ki Hackney

Custom-embroidered brown suede trapper with Finnish raccoon, $1,195.
Spring might be scratching at the door, but winter’s cold isn’t over yet. We still need our warm, windproof accessories at the ready. And, this year, the across-the-decades favorite is the fluffy fur trapper hat. I saw a wonderfully textured octogenarian walking past Starbuck’s the other day, with her groceries, perfectly tailored dark navy coat, a simple wooden cane and her mink-lined trapper.

Just behind her was a tall, angular construction worker sporting his shearling version. And so on, from Mom walking her children to the youngest, lithest New York socialite, cozy, fur, ear-flapped hats are de rigueur.

“There’s nothing more glamorous that fur around a woman’s face,” says millinery designer Kôkin , who recently opened his own shop at 1388 Third Avenue on the UES.  “Fur has a sauvage feeling about it and makes a woman look sexier, even if she isn’t a 10,” he states with his enthusiastic authority. “And there is nothing warmer,” says the man who then describes coming home sometimes to his apartment, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, to find his wife, Blu, “in a bathrobe and her fur hat hat. She wears them around the shop, as well. Having grown up in Eastern Europe, Blu knows how warm they are.
Above: Blu in a Leopard-printed hair calf and black fox, $975. Right: Blu in a Green-dyed Finnish raccoon and camouflage printed calfskin, $610.
Blu in a Kôkin’s crystal fox trapper hat with a bronze leather crown, $795.
“The trapper (lead image: All-over crystal fox, $1,250, left, and purple-dyed Finnish raccoon and lambskin, $725, right) has been one of the best hats we have ever had and definitely the best since we opened the store right after Thanksgiving last year,” continues Kôkin. The one-room store’s oversized window-wall facing Third Avenue, between 78th and 79th Streets, continues to be filled with his colorful trapper hats from classic silver to Army green to hot pink snakeskin with bright pink fur. “Even now, we are still selling about eight a week.

The author in her trapper.
The trapper, like the newsboy cap, the Fedora, and berets, for us, has become a classic. That’s a good thing, because I am the factory. As long as women want these hats, I can make them, and can have more of them the next day. That was the whole purpose of our store. We are all about wearing right now. If it’s cold out, we’re going to have warm hats. You can walk right in and get one. And, if you have a dream hat, you can have it, too; within a week.”