About (in a nutshell)

THE BARN

In 1995, through a peculiar series of events, a vast collection of early 1900s millinery trims came into our possession when we were fortunate enough to obtain the warehouse inventory of Max Herman and Co. and Successors from 37th Street in NYC. 

Tucked away in a barn in upstate NY for 50 years were many thousands of feather and flower hat trims, thousands of antique glass eyes from France for decoys, dolls, bears, and millinery, and other millinery supply items. Most of the feather and flower trims were made between WWI and WWII, and many still had their “Paris” and “Germany” labels of origin. (You can read more about in this New York Times article.)

OUR MISSION

Our mission with the inventory has been to get these fabulous finds into the hands of those who will use them. Since 1996, the trims sourced from the barn have been purchased by a diverse group of top-notch milliners, costumers, craftspeople, fly tiers, artisans,  designers, and retailers from all over the world.

Our clients have included resellers in NYC, milliners for the Metropolitan Opera House and various Broadway shows; the costumer for the TV show "Boardwalk Empire"; the costumers for the movies "The Hunger Games", "Crimson Peak," and the "Wonder Woman" starring Gal Gadot; the world renowned milliner Philip Treacy, the fashion house of Maison Martin Margiela, and countless scores of other fine milliners, craftspeople, and artisans.

Vintage Feather trims were used in this scene on headpieces (photo from Rotten Tomatoes website).

Hat by Philip Treacy, photographer unknown

Hat by Philip Treacy; photographer unknown, model Isabella Blow

Photo property of Maison Martin Margiela

Photo property of Maison Martin Margiela

Photo property of Maison Martin Margiela

 

COMMISSIONS:

In the fall of 2013, we were honored to be contacted and commissioned by Escuela Politécnica of Guatemala to produce the pompoms / hackles for the head pieces of the cadets. The project called for several hundred  large hackles which did not utilize any of our vintage feathers; everything was sourced new. The handling of tens of thousands of vintage feathers trims  plus our own art/design backgrounds made this a viable project for us.

Our responsibilities included figuring out how the original hackles were made and duplicating them. We had to find a metal shop that could economically reproduce the brass metal fittings that covered the base of the  pompoms and allowed them to be secured onto the head pieces. We also needed to work with a feather supply company to custom dye the new hackle feathers to match the color of the existing feather pompoms. After the components arrived, we assembled the pompoms in our studio.

AS OF 2017

Now, twenty years after we started shipping these vintage trims out into the world, we still have a generous supply available for sale.  We still marvel that this once-in-a-lifetime barn find was ours to discover and process.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.

Warm regards,
Elizabeth and Michael Walters
Vintage Feathers