Guyanese-born milliner Marcus Malchijah began making hats nearly 20 years ago when he lost his son. After meeting someone who made hats, he decided to take up the craft himself to help him get through that rough time in his life. Since then, his shop Malchijah Hats has become a fixture in Brooklyn, New York. The self-taught milliner has created hats for Jada Pinkett Smith, Erykah Badu, Black Thought from The Roots, and other celebrities. Malchijah can make up to two dozen hats per day with a part-time staff of four. His creations go for $40 to $500 apiece “according to what it takes,” and some of them are donated to churches.
Malchijah, who has made everything from fedoras to top hats to beach hats, describes his products as wearable art. “I like the fact that I can dress someone and put a smile on their face, you know? [I can] put a hat on their head and help change their whole outlook.”