What led you to become a headwear designer?
Laura: I didn’t decide I wanted to do this until I was 18, working a summer job at American Eagle. I realized you can be a designer without sewing something on the runway. I always thought being a designer meant you had to be famous, but in realty there are so many designers out there. I went to school to study fashion design and product development at the University of Cincinnati. Every other semester in the program we would move and do another internship. I did six internships that brought me to live in NY, work at Target in MN, etc. All of those experiences helped me figure out what I wanted to do. I loved Chicago the most (where I grew up) and that's what brought me back here where I started out my career as a wallet and seasonal designer and then moved into headwear.
What do you love about the brand + enjoy most about designing d+h hats?
Laura: I love how collaborative the birth of this brand has been. It has taken a village and it’s only just the beginning. The best part about designing damen and hastings headwear is having the opportunity to push my creativity to the next level. I get to focus on quality materials with a meaning and the small details that make this brand so special.
What is your design process?
Laura: My design process begins as early as my commute. I am constantly looking around at what people are wearing, where they are going, what’s their vibe. As a team we create trend boards and color stories. From there, we sketch designs on the computer which we review before we move into tech packs and sampling.
Where do you get design inspiration?
Laura: I like to get inspiration from performance ski and snowboarding brands. I love the combination of looking and feeling cool, but having an element of functionality whether it be for warmth, feel, shape, etc. I'm always challenging myself to design with those aspects in mind.
What is your favorite d+h product?
Laura: A beanie coming this fall. Stay tuned!
What do you think is important for the future of headwear?
Laura: Sustainability and recyclable materials. It is an important initiative that has a big role to play in product development.
Do you read blogs?
Blogs have become less important and instagram has become my daily blog. The explore page is my best friend.
Any cool upcoming travel plans?
Laura: My brother is a Big 7 marathoner and London bound for his next race where a group of 20 of us will cheer him on. Directly following London I'm headed to Florence with a couple of my girlfriends where wine and charcuterie are the main thing on our agenda.
What are some of your favorite things about Chicago?
I love the Bucktown/Wicker Park area where I live and I LOVE “patio season”. It’s been a rough winter so once 50 degrees hits, you know where to find me. I love overstaying my welcome at a place with a cool atmosphere and great food + drinks with friends.