Friday, September 5, 2014


We continue our Fashion Week interviews with local designers by catching up with the founder of Karema Deodato Millinery on Sugar Hill.  Karema's ancestry hails originally from Brazil but the Harlem milliner is one of those true born and raised NYC kids.  The collection features mostly women's pieces but a men's line will debut this fall at boutiques throughout the city and at Harlem's own Sugar Hill Market.

HB: What is the inspiration behind your company? 
KD:The first thing I ever sewed was a small velvet fez cap out of my mother’s fabric remnants when I was 14. It was a Eureka moment in my life and I have been a passionate milliner ever since. I worked as a designer in the fashion industry for many years. But after the birth of my daughter, my focus was reset in a way and I decided to dedicate most of my non-mothering hours to the other love in my life-making hats.

HB: Has it been difficult launching a designer collection in Harlem? 
KD: Not at all. The response has been great. There is such a stylish crowd uptown. So many people are looking for something unique and willing to pay for it.

HB: What are your favorite pieces in the collection? 
KD: I love the Harriet hat since it is such a good marriage of fashion and function-a sophisticated large brim felt hat with built in hand knit alpaca ear flaps (shown above on model). The Rumi Cloche is definitely another one on my list to make for myself this fall.

HB: As the season changes, how will the line transition? 
KD:The materials change. Felt, wool and fur in the winter and straw, cotton and linen in the summer. The brims tend to be larger in the summer for more sun protection and the color palettes reflect the seasons.

HB: How long have you been in Harlem? 
KD: I've been in Harlem for 14 years.

HB: Is there anything you find unique about living in Harlem? 
KD: Yes. Harlem is home to so many diverse and gorgeous little neighborhoods where people take the time to stop to say hello and chit chat. The architecture is beautiful and the population density is much lower than most other areas in the city. I was born and grew up in Manhattan and I am confident to say that Hamilton Heights, where home is now, is my favorite neighborhood to live in NYC.

For more details on the upcoming Sugar Hill Market, make sure to follow the official Instagram site: LINK


  1. Where can we buy? Is there a boutique, storefront, or website to order hats from the milliner?

  2. Hats can be purchased at the Sugar Hill Market at Maison D'Art 259 west 132nd street on September 21st or through the website