Hats have always been part of Samantha-Tara Mainville's life. As a teenager, she would scour thrift stores and unearth second-hand hats as if they were small artefacts, imbued with rare know-how, in order to garnish her personal collection.
Oddly enough, it was not until several years later, during a jewelry making course, that she realized that she wanted not only to wear hats, but also to make them. Requiring a meticulousness similar to that of jewelry making, the art of millinery opened up to another multisensory dimension that fascinated her; that of the play of colors and textiles.
Samantha then learned the inner workings of the profession alongside Lucie Grégoire, a Canadian leader in millinery. Once her training was complete, the young entrepreneur dived head first and launches Heirloom in 2015.
Her signature, at first sober and monochrome, quickly metamorphoses into a creative universe from which emanate a refreshing joie de vivre.Surprising silhouettes and a diverse color chart, her head accessories are displayed like small works of art to be interchanged according to our moods. This quality, both artisanal and conceptual, has not gone unnoticed by the Montreal fine arts museum as well as the Contemporary arts museum of Montreal, both of which presented her creations as part of the Thierry Mugler exhibitions: Couturissime and À la recherche d' Expo 67 by artist Cheryl Sims respectively.
Playful, well thought out and deeply human, Samantha's approach democratizes the hat while celebrating the uniqueness of the people who wear it. Kind of like a dinner with friends where everyone, with or without a hat, would be invited.
Photo credit: Pascal Ferraris