Originally established in 1936 by hatmaker Auguste Michel, Maison Michel produces some of the most exclusive hats and headpieces (including those delicate bunny ears that graced the runway in 2009) in the industry—some would even say that the house is one of the best in the world. Either way, it is certainly the most iconic. After being taken over by Pierre Debard and his wife Claudine in 1968, Maison Michel re-introduced the wide-brimmed straw hat to the fashion industry using Weissmann’s straw sewing machines. The design was quickly adopted by heavyweight designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin, and the house went on to produce luxury headwear for companies like Chanel, Givenchy, Lanvin and Christian Lacroix. In 1996, Chanel assumed ownership of the atelier, and since then, Maison Michel has continued to exclusively produce headwear, turning its subtle ‘M’ logo into an internationally recognized symbol.
Producing each and every piece by hand, Maison Michel continues to work with some of the most esteemed fashion houses in the world. Forever upholding the classic aesthetic that is Maison Michel, the hats are created using the expertise of three time-old professionals: the hatmaker, the milliner and the sewer, using exclusive felts and materials. The hats, which are all made on site in France, are still made using the original artisanal methods, under the watchful eye of current Artistic Director Laetitia Crahay.