Head hat maker and creator of The Brim Label, we catch Emma Cheape traversing through Central America with her five travelling hats. Full disclosure, she probably left her hej-hej yarn at home.
Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
I am inspired by practicality, functionality and effortless design. The reason for starting The Brim Label came from a desire to create hats that are useful, easy to wear/transport and that look good - thus making the wearer feel good. This is still exactly what motivates my design ideas for The Brim Label, 6 years on from its inception.
Do you have a favourite hat or are they like children in that you love them all equally (most of the time)?
Haha yes I love them all! I'm currently in Central America, travelling for 5 weeks and I packed 5 different hat styles - they all have their unique strengths. On this trip I've been wearing my Thelma cap and Rosa straw visor the most, they're just so easy for day to day wear. When I get back to NZ mid August, I'll be putting my Bobbie beanie on at the airport as the cold weather will be a shock to the system! I don't make anything that I wouldn't want to wear myself, so I really do love all my BRIM's equally.
You’re also proud owner of the Bombs & Blades, don’t you just love it? Tell us why you love it.
I do love it! It's very luxurious to wear, I like how it has a zip which makes it a little more casual so you can wear it like a cardy. Excellent fancy/casual wearability combo!
Who is your favourite fellow girl boss?
I feel connected to other women who create things and are carving out their own little niche in the creative world. It can be very challenging and isolating having your own business, so it's encouraging and motivating to see other women taking a leap of faith and putting cool things out into the world.
If you were a fly on a wall, what wall would you be on?
A couple of years ago I was given a great book about the life of Aage Thaarup who was a milliner throughout the 1920s-1960s. In the early part of his career he travelled to India and made hats for the English society ladies during the days of The Raj. I loved India when I travelled through there a few years ago and think it would be absolutely fascinating to be a fly on the wall in his shop during this time.
The worst thing you’ve ever worn? And don’t even try to justify it.
Brown lycra bootlegs with an elasticated waistband from Glassons circa 1997.
You’ve been friends with Kiki since way back. Who led who astray?
Yes Kiki and I have been friends since way back in the elasticated bootleg days, although she wasn't as fashionable as me back then - she was more into cargo shorts and Canterbury trackies! Regarding who led who astray? Kiki every time! But then again, I was almost always (and still am) a willing participant in the antics!
<Kiki removed teen photo>
Emma, we miss you! Come home now... We are ready to see a new collection of Summer Brims inspired by your travels. Keep updated with The Brim Label and watch out for another hej hej x Brim pop up soon!
Photos by Nicole Brannen.
Shop the hej hej Bombs & Blades