(NEW YORK) Combining the glamour of her Lancôme model mother, the unflappable resolve of her bullfighting famille, and her own impeccable craftsmanship, Gladys Tamez burst onto the L.A. millinery scene with a namesake atelier that’s welcomed the likes of Johnny Depp, Dita Von Teese, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian at the drop of a hat. BY MARIA DENARDO
Why millinery, Gladys?
While I was on a trip to Spain, I met a 5th generation hat-maker in the town of Vitoria. He invited me into the back of his atelier to see the proces, and I’ve never looked back!
What’s your background?
I’m originally from Monterrey, Mexico, but I was educated in Italy where I studied art at both the Lorenzo de Medici and Scuola di Moda. I then moved to L.A. where I debuted a clothing line called Franny in 2006.
Who was your first notable client?
The great actress Tippi Hedren, who wore one of my early “bird” hats.
How did Johnny Depp learn about your hats?
He became a client when a costume designer gave him a bespoke hat I made specially designed for him.
What was his reaction?
He was very appreciative and sent a sweet personal note thanking me for the hat, saying it was his new favorite. That type of consideration and personal touch is unusual. He’s a great guy. He is now breaking in his beaver hat, and I await his arrival at my studio!
How about Rihanna?
Rihanna purchased one of my hats at Church boutique in L.A. The store has been a supporter of my work from the beginning.
Do you wear a hat every day?
I’d say 95 percent of the time. Lucky for me I have a lot to choose from!
Any cleaning tips?
Cleaning and reshaping is a free service I offer all my bespoke clientele at my atelier in downtown L.A. In a pinch, you can use a lint roller or a soft shoe brush.
What’s trending in the hat world?
Big brims, tall crowns, and high quality. Like a great pair of shoes, a quality hat is a must have for any wardrobe.