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Melissa Vap is a Washington, D.C.-based designer of statement hats and headpieces. Founded in 2011, her millinery business is modeled after a traditional Parisian atelier. Each headpiece is created by hand using traditional millinery tools and techniques and the finest silk, straw and felt material. Hats are shaped on wooden forms, adorned, and sewn by hand. Hats and headpieces are worn for a variety of events – from weddings to horse races, cocktail parties to garden parties.

Melissa Vap is an economics graduate of Princeton University. She received an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. She worked in municipal bond underwriting on Wall Street for seven years, leaving Bear Stearns as a vice-president. She started designing hats after attending a French wedding where she was taken with the dramatic headpieces. Each woman seemed to project a unique style and personality through her hat.

The Atelier-Musée du Chapeau in France prominently displayed a Melissa Vap hat at an exposition in 2014.

Melissa Vap regularly gives lectures on the history of hats and current fashion trends.

Each hat is handcrafted and therefore differences may exist between hats shown and reproduced items. Additionally, due to the rarity of some materials, the availability of specific fabrics or decorative elements depends on supply. Specific hats may be available for order in different colors or materials. We regret that we cannot accept returns.

Submit an inquiry or schedule an appointment through the contact form below or by phone at (202) 365-3244.

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