KAI FACT magazine
An artisan shining in the Paris fashion scene making hats with love at a cozy atelier
FACT  No.06

An artisan shining in the Paris fashion scene making hats with love at a cozy atelier

Paris, the capital of fashion where many maison brands with a long history are born.
They are largely supported by traditional and manual craftsmanship and created by skilled craftsmen.
CheRi Bibi is an atelier which also has been supporting the creation of a hats in the French fashion world.

There is still so much to learn. Every design is a source of learning.

 CheRiBibi has long been trusted in making hats for the famous maison brands such as LOUIS VUITTON and Dior.
 ‘Yet there is still so much to learn about manufacturing. My work is to make things in the form they desire from the design sketches and photos that creators and designers send me. Each time the designs are new and different, and all of that becomes my learning. The craftsmanship of artisans is in creating products that will satisfy both designers and consumers. My tools are also important for that,’ says Marie Claire.
 She uses around 12 pairs of scissors, changing them according to the cloth, and among them are KAI scissors.
 ‘For our work, scissors that are light, fit the shape of the hand, and are straight and slender are the best ones. There is a Japanese apprentice inheriting Marie Claire’s superior techniques. He is Nobuki Hizume. 'She always tells me to break through the barriers. There is no one fixed way of doing things.’ Marie Claire's artisan spirit values each worker's individuality. After I teach them my skills, I want them to forget about me. It is important for individuals to make their own hats,’ says Claire.
 'Rather than making items precisely to the millimeter as instructed by the master, expressing one’s soul in the end will better bring out the individual beauty in each work.'
The atelier has been moved to a suburb rich in nature away from Paris and the employees can work without stress. There is much manual work done with old sewing machines and irons, fur is combed with hair brushes meant for pets, sticks of tanned leather are used for bindings, and special tools are used outside of those for sewing. There is a large stock of wood shapes for hats. But the number of craftsmen who can make these is steadily decreasing.
Marie Claire of CheRiBibi, who became independent in 1987, had started making hats in Paris and Nobuki Hizume sees her as a teacher of hat making techniques and life skills.

Paris | Article List

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