Kids in northern Westchester learn the intricacies of millinery work

Kids in northern Westchester learn the intricacies of millinery work

Kids at the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Westchester were exposed to a career they never heard of – millinery – the design and manufacturing of hats and headwear.

The kids will be getting 12 lessons in total from an actual milliner who is teaching them all about the different types of materials and how to get creative.

“I think we’re going to probably focus a lot on straw and then random materials because some of the kids had some really great ideas,” explained Jackie Cicogna, of Jackie Cicogna Millinery. “We’re going to be working with Legos, with little toy soldiers, you can make a hat of anything. If you’re a milliner you can make a hat out of anything.”

“My first hat really didn’t go well,” recalls Alex Segearra, a 14-year-old who participated in the program. “I traded it with a friend and I ended up making like this style of hat I hadn’t really heard of before. It’s called a fez or something, and I really liked it so I went with it.”

They also learned hat-making techniques, like dipping the fabric in water to mold the shape of the hat.

“I didn’t know the way like the materials work, like wetting them and molding them. I hadn’t heard of that. I figured you just did like barehand, no water,” added Segearra.

“You can make anything out of fabric,” said 9-year-old Genesis Sanchez. “I took a lamp hat, and then I cut the whole entire bottom, then I put some flowers, a little tiny star, and some ribbon.”

And in this classroom, inspiration can strike anywhere.

“I had no clue what I was going to do at first and I saw Genesis’s hat and thought ‘Oh! Maybe I should do a pink one,’ and made it more Barbie-themed,” said 9-year-old Cecilia Vera.

An event that was just as fun for the teacher as it was for the students.

“It something that people don’t really know about anymore and so to be able to get them into and appreciate what really beautifully made things are and just express themselves in that way? I’m just really excited,” said Cicogna.

This program is a part of The Boys and Girls Club’s annual gala. This year they are celebrating 85 years, and they’re hoping to raise $1 million to subsidize programs just like this one. And this is a way to integrate the kids with the gala. Their hats will either serve as centerpieces at the event or be a part of the photobooth and if they’re really great, some may even be for sale!

For more info click HERE.