The offbeat hatsmith wearing her heart on her head


Let’s face it, we don’t all have hat heads. But among the vast array of bonnets, berets, baseball caps and the like there’s bound to be a style to fit each of us. And according to stylist and milliner – or hat specialist – Crystal Birch, we all look our best donning headgear.

Birch grew up in Cape Town and studied fashion. Upon graduating, she took the risk of striking out on her own and chose to focus her creativity on what she deems to be the exclamation point of any outfit. “I find a hat fascinating,” she says, “because it makes you the individual that you are.” Birch believes that hats can both direct and represent people’s emotions.

“A hat is something that people look at. It shows where people come from,” she explains. “I wish we could wear things more on our heads to actually show each other what’s going on in your life.” The eclectic hatsmith enjoys the creative freedom of her craft and exploring the boundaries of what fashion can be. Having travelled the world through her work, Birch has found that her greatest inspiration is her homeland.