LABEL: Mitsuhiro Matsuda Nicole Tokyo Japan, Made in Japan
Crown: 3.5” tall
Brim: 3” wide
Diameter of oval crown: 8” from front to back and 6.75” side to side
Inner circumference of crown at leather band: 23”
This simply lovely, circa 1980s or early 1990s, ladies’ straw boater hat by Japanese designer Mitsuhiro Matsuda is made of the finest natural straw, as one would expect from a designer of his stature. As described in in a 2008 article in British Vogue, written to commemorate the designer immediately after his death, “Matsuda was one a group of trailblazing Japanese design talents (which also included Junko Koshino, Yukiko Hanai, Isao Kaneko, Takeo Kikuchi and Kansai Yamamoto) who, in 1974, formed Tokyo Designer Six - creating Tokyo's first official fashion week.” A 1982 article in the New York Times, entitled “From Japan, New Faces, New Shapes”, mentions Mitsuhiro Matsuda—along with the more-well-known Japanese fashion designers Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto—excellent company! (Check out the article here: http://www.nytimes.com/1982/12/14/style/from-japan-new-faces-new-shapes.html).
The hat superficially resembles a traditional straw boater, with its flat crown and medium-width brim. However, it has an unusual center crease molded into the top of the crown. Also, the crown itself is a bit lower than a typical men’s straw boater hat. And, although the hat’s crown is straight in the back, it is rounded in shape at the front. The brim edge is bound with narrow, ivory grosgrain ribbon. The hatband is a wider, silk grosgrain ribbon, in ivory, dark brown and black stripes. The inner band is slightly shiny black leather, carefully stitched to the straw. In excellent condition, the hat appears hardly worn, if at all, with one very faint mark on the leather of the inner band. This ladies’ straw hat by Matsuda is a little piece of fashion history, as well as a lovely vintage hat in its own right! For reference—and just because it is really cool—we have included one of Matsuda’s elegantly styled, late 1980s ads with a similarly vintage-style straw hat (last photo).