Packing for the holidays? Here is the most important item you should take this summer

Eman Youssef, Tuesday 7 Jul 2020

Greek milliner Lisa Sarigiannidou spoke to Ahram Online about her passion for hats, and offers some advice about what to wear this summer

Lisa Sarigiannidou wearing a handmade hat from her collection

“Although the coronavirus pandemic has affected all aspects of life, as long as women exist, fashion will go on,” says Lisa Sarigiannidou, a prominent Greek hat maker and designer.

She says that her handmade designs have classic lines, but that they evolve every year in line with new fashion trends.

Bucket hats and scraped hats of different sizes are the trends for this summer, she says.

Sarigiannidou usually uses a natural straw braided material. "I love raw materials and enjoy working with them in designing the Savapile collection.

"The final result along with the feeling you get when you have your own handmade or custom-made and unique hat is magnificent," she tells Ahram Online.

"My straw hats are made to accommodate the demands of the summer season; they have hard endurance for heat, they love water, salt and sand, and they also have multiple uses as they can be used in the afternoon as baskets so you can carry for example your fruit inside them," she explains.

Sarigiannidou, who also makes hats for special occasions like weddings, caps for men, berets, heart-shaped hats and many others, stresses that straw hats have a special place in her heart.

"They are for everyone and different age groups, they love your head, they breathe as well as protect," she added.

Sarigiannidou also recommends wearing hats while shopping at the market in the morning, having your coffee in your favourite cafe, while sunbathing, when eating at a restaurant or enjoying the sunset.

For Sarigiannidou, it takes two days to finish one hat. It is the process of wetting and drying, not only sewing, that requires this amount of duration.

Every single hat is different from one another, she says,

“My father had started the millinery business in 1960, in the centre of Athens, and I grew up watching him working there.

"Since I was born, I was surrounded by hats, so all my memory images are connected with this profession. My family has always supported me, especially my sister,” says Sarigiannidou, adding that the hat shop was in the neighbourhood of Psirri in Athens, right under the amazing Acropolis, which has influenced her aesthetics and designs.

As for packing for holidays, Sarigiannidou believes that a hat that is big enough to cover the face and shoulders should definitely have a place in every summer suitcase. "Not only is it very stylish, but also it is a life saviour," she says.

“Many celebrities have worn my hats, but what touches me most is when someone wears a hat of mine even though they are shy, or they think that hats do not suit them, and then they tell how it boosted their confidence and esteem.”

Asked about her favourite item in her closet, Sarigiannidou says she loves a vintage hat that she received from her father.

She believes that every new designer has to understand that fashion design is basically a dream that is intertwined with passion.

"When creativity is at stake, we just have to keep on dreaming," she argues.

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