The family business injecting hats with happiness

Words by Heather Gwyther

Mariana and Cristina Aguirre

Hats can be hard work. As soon as you find one you actually like, you may also find that it’s given you hat hair. Your peripheral vision might be at risk too. And don’t get us started on the fact that hats are a very easy accesory to misplace. There’s only so much stress we fashion lovers can take. But then a hat brand like Romualda comes along and all this stuff ceases to matter.

Romualda was founded by sisters Mariana and Cristina Aguirre just before the pandemic, and with younger sister Lucia as their PR manager, it’s a family business through and through.

"THe fAcT THaT oUR HaTs ARe HAnD pAiNTeD OnE By ONe iS sOmETHiNg qUiTe SpeCTAcULaR"

The brand’s original inspiration began when Mariana met a Dutch artist in Rodalquilar as Children. “Her way of creating and understanding life inspired us to imagine a project that respects and loves the world that we live in,” says the duo. Their Mother – also an artist and designer – is now their ultimate muse: “we grew up watching her sketch, design, paint and restore objects,” they explain.

Honouring traditional craftsmanship is key element of Romualda’s identity. “Recovering ancestral techniques and respecting the purity of the materials, we look for a way to create exquisite products that leave lasting emotion,” the sisters say. And that’s without leaving a lasting impact on the planet. “At Romualda we believe that beautiful things should be created with sustainable values…All the materials we use are carefully sourced and can be recycled or reused.” It’s pretty neat, the wadding inside Romualda’s hats are made from recycled bottles from the ocean and they keep all their spare fabric to create new collections; “We believe in the resurrection of materials in disuse.”

"wE'Re nEw tO THe fAsHiOn wORLD, BUt THaT's sOmeETHiNg THaT GiVEs Us A nEw aND fResH ViSIoN"

Sticking to sustainability is admirable, but the sisters are just as proud of how their pieces look (as they rightly should be): “the fact that our hats are hand painted one by one is something quite spectacular,” they say. “All of our pieces are unique, just as we all are. We all have our stories and our own characteristics that can be represented with different materials, colours, designs and brush strokes.”

“As artists and designers, we’re new to the fashion world, but that’s something that gives us a new and fresh vision,” the sisters say on their individual approach to millinery.”

But who is the Romualda woman? She’s a worldly and exciting character: “Our customers are exquisite nonconformists, travellers and explorers that love and respect nature and enjoy the (great) little things in life: eating, laughing, dancing, reading, soaking up art, discovering people, places and stories.” It’s a demographic anyone would want to be part of. Still, Romualda is not a brand that wants to be exclusive: “with each collection we work further towards creating a more inclusive brand so that everyone can find a part of themselves in our pieces,” the sisters say. “We want our customers to feel protected from the sun, fresh, special and stylish.”

And if you had any doubt on when to wear your Romualda headwear, the answer is simple. “It’s always a good moment to wear Romualda,” they tell us confidently. We can’t say we disagree.

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