Milliner Erin Saboe doesnt mince words about being a hat maker. Its what she does, and thats that. It all started because she loved hats but couldnt find a ready-to-wear one that fit her head, so she learned the trade at the top at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and then spent ten years as a handmade hat wholesaler. But mass production was a grind, and she had children to raise, so Saboe recently shifted her focus and opened a specialty hat shop, Go Go Chapeaux, in Cherry Creek North. And her goal now as a freelance headwear hawker? Cover your heads, Denver: Erin Saboe wants all of you, especially the ladies, to put a lid on it.
In Denver, its a challenge to come up with things that are fabulous but not over the top, she notes of her customers taste. Most women look wonderful in hats, but it takes something a little more understated to get them to put one on. Saboes specialties include wide-brimmed fabric pool hats to shade your face in big style, and she also admits to adoring straw hats and the classic derby shape. The most unusual chapeau shes crafted was one made from client-supplied elephant hide and bear claws, though shes almost loath to mention it, out of fear of finding PETA at her door. This fall, shes knocked out a line of chic reversible wool newsboys in plaid and solid colors, and shes always happy to reshape or customize any hat to fit a customers head...and personality.
Im old-fashioned. Im a little persnickety with my materials. I have a lot of vintage ribbons and feathers in stock, things of a quality that you cant reproduce anymore, Saboe says. And I try as hard as I can to find the best felts and straws, she continues, noting that really fine hat materials are getting harder to find. But its worth it: I do it because I love hats. Stop by her shop and you will, too.
Go Go Chapeaux is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 290 Columbine Street; go to www.gogochapeau.com/gogo or call 303-377-3555.
Mondays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Starts: Nov. 3. Continues through Dec. 24, 2008