Black Hungarian Leather Hat, Beatrix Budy

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  • Each hat is individually made from reclaimed leather trimmed with faux fur
  • The natural imperfections of the materials give the headgear an ageless look.
  • There are no two hats alike.
  • The segmented design makes size fairly flexible.


Hungarian settlers arrived in Europe in the 9th century wearing pointed leather hats. The hat, ideal for a nation on horseback, remains a trendy item in modern days. The tassels on the pointed top ─ integral part of the body of the hat ─ vent water-vapor thus keeping the scalp aired and fresh, while the fur-trim insulates from the cold. The tapered design allows the hat to be worn in different positions according to weather and wind.


Artist Statement:

I was born in the heart of Transylvania in a time when folk-art was considered a utilitarian activity. In my multi-ethnic family -- Hungarian, Romanian, and Rroma -- we made most of the things that we needed, from furniture to clothing , from kitchenware to table-lamps.

After earning an MS in Engineering in my hometown, Cluj, Romania, I moved to the United States and completed a PhD in Chemistry. I am currently Associate Professor at Columbia College Chicago. I love teaching science, but I never lost the joy of handcrafting.

About ten years ago, when I went back home to visit, my grandmother gave me a handcrafted hat. After she passed away I didn’t want to ware out my Granny’s hat, but I still needed a hat to keep me warm. That is when, true to my culture, I made my very first Hungarian Leather Hat. Since then I lost the count of the hats I made, but I never made one that I wouldn’t be proud to ware.

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