IRK Magazine has been admiring the crazy Parisian hats by Minimi since we first discovered them at the concept store, Front De Mode in the Maris three years ago. The hats are bright, playful and full of je ne sais quoi style and they are all handmade in Paris. They add a touch of "look at me I have something to say" in every wardrobe!
So when I found out that Minimi now has workshops in Paris where in two-three hours one can make a Minime hat with the help of the actual Minime artisans I was ready to go!!! Lucky for me the founder and Creative Director of the French Brand Marie Marquet was there and I got to hear about her launch of the Minimi experience.
Marie Marquet has been successfully running Minimi since 2014 and before that, she was at both Chanel and Hermes. She has perfected traditional handcrafted techniques to create unique hats and ready to wear collections. MiniMe Paris has been recognized and featured in international magazines such as Vogue and ELLE and they are co-branded with Disney Land Paris, Barbie, and Emoji. Her pieces are worn worldwide by celebrities such as Lady Gaga, and Will.I.Am.
A bit over a half a year ago Marie came up with Chapellerie Minimi a concept of letting patrons into her workshop to create their own hats. Paris is still known as the capital of fashion and it is a rare opportunity to be able to learn from real artisans how to make a hat. Marie told me since their launch 6 months ago they have already had 700 people come in from all over the world to make a Minimi hat. Marie actually launched the concept with Airbnb and her workshop is one of the fastest growing experience on Paris's Airbnb. The majority of patrons have been tourists who want to learn more about french artisanry and fashion but now locals are also going on weekends and evenings.
The setting is the start of the experience as every inch of the Minimi House is a colorful and curious extravaganza reminding one of falling into Wonderland. Then we choose one of over a dozen colored 100% vegan felts and soon, I was told, they will add straw as well. After choosing the color we have our head measured and we select the shape of our hat. From there on it is a learning experience on how to shape your hat with steam transforming the raw material with your hands & tools. Then it’s time to bake your hat & dry it a drying oven and from there you get to embellish your hat with ribbons, scarves, buttons, embroidery or feathers. I kept the outside of my hat simple but the inside is full of symbols. Once the decorating is done we get to sow in our personally signed Minimi ribbon. And in the end, we cut the brim with a special tool to reveal our beautiful new hat.
What is even more impressive is that the experience and handmade hat doesn't cost any more than if one were to buy it directly from Minime. So for 85 euros, one can have a great learning experience and a memento of Paris fashion like no other. I am already making my list of girl and guy friends I plan on bringing with me so that I can make another Minime hat!!
Chapellerie MiniMe Paris
75 Boulevard de Sébastopol
Rez de chaussée fonds de cour
(code porte 6438)
Lundi – Vendredi: 9h-22h