Let These Hand-Painted Hats From Spain Give You a Spark of Joy

Brooke Bobb
<cite class="credit">Photo: Anthony Buenaflor</cite>
Photo: Anthony Buenaflor

As little girls, sisters Cristina and Mariana Aguirre met an older Dutch artist named Romualda on a family trip from their home in Madrid to the Rodalquilar desert in the south of Spain. Cristina remembers being entranced by the sculptures Romualda made of sticks, shells, and stones, as well as wall murals depicting the ocean and other earthy scenes.

“Her way of understanding life and her respect for nature has stayed with us our entire lives,” says Cristina. When the sisters decided to launch their own label of hand-painted hats last year, they named it in her honor. The Aguirres’ sun hats and bucket hats are made by local milliners in Asturias on the north coast of Spain from ethically grown cotton. The prints are all hand-painted onto the fabric by Cristina, some in ombré and marble swirls, others in abstract tie-dye patterns.

<cite class="credit">Photo: Courtesy of Romualda</cite>
Photo: Courtesy of Romualda

Since all of their production is local and/or made at home, the COVID-19 lockdowns haven’t proven overly challenging for the Aguirres. “We’re a small team, which has given us the opportunity to know each other well and trust in each other’s capabilities,” says Cristina. “This is priceless to us.” Right now, so is engaging their network of friends and fans, many of whom are producing new brand content for them. Overall, the designers are optimistic about their strategies and hoping that the pandemic will have a positive impact on the fashion industry as a whole.

“I hope that it will encourage people towards conscious consumption,” Cristina says. “We feel that creating pieces that can be kept and cherished is one of the paths that the fashion industry will be most successful at and we are happy to be aligned with it.” Their pieces “require personality and that’s what we love about them,” says Aguirre. The work, she emphasizes, is a true labor of love: “We put all of our hearts into making these hats.”

<cite class="credit">Photo: Amelia Garcia</cite>
Photo: Amelia Garcia

Originally Appeared on Vogue