Season after season, accessories designer Eugenia Kim counts her cat-eared Felix beanies and Caterina berets as two of her most popular hat styles. It’s not hard to see why, as the irresistible headgear easily adds a playful touch to any meowfit of the day.
These coveted toppers are constantly reinvented in different colors and materials to reflect the spirit of each collection. We’re loving the New York brand’s current wintry styles made with wool and felt, a stylish way to brave the cold. Surprisingly, the designer is allergic to felines. “I’ve always liked cats so I decided to bring them into my life in a different way. The Eugenia Kim brand, though it’s grown over the years, has always carried a dash of whimsy, which I think these styles carry off perfectly,” Kim tells InStyle.
In fact, the brand has grown from a millinery collection in 1998 to an accessory wonderland carrying the works: gloves, scarves, shoes, and headbands loved by celebs including Beyoncé and Gwen Stefani. The concept of the designer’s first hat creation had sparked from an undesirable haircut. “It was so bad that I ended up shaving my entire head—so I had nothing to work with,” she says. At the time, Kim was taking a millinery class at the Parsons School of Design, and decided to create headpieces that looked like a haircut. “I used red guinea feathers and made my first cloche, and one soon after.” How’s that for a new ’do?
Buyers quickly took notice and a collection was born. The first cat-eared design debuted in 2003 with the Josie headband. As for Kim’s favorite piece? “I love the Felix beanie. It’s easy to wear with anything—pretty much anyone can pull it off, and it keeps you warm!"