Accessories Spotlight: Behida Dolic

Nothing makes us more pumped than discovering a unique niche designer – and it’s even better when the story behind is one in a million. 
Meet Behida Dolić, a milliner based in New York with a real go-getter attitude. She grew up in a small village located in Bosnia, surrounded by makers, but everything has been entirely self-taught. After the Balkan war in 1998 she fled to the US with her brother and two sisters, and studied art in San Francisco, Florence and Italy before realising her most favoured area of fashion: millenary.
Like most artists, Behida always knew she wanted to be a designer and that she had the knack for it, but it was just a matter of figuring how she’d possibly make it her career. Her solution was to keep going, to take on the craft and “get as good of an edit as [she] possibly could” each time. She fell in love with making hats because it “was a perfect vehicle to express [herself] artistically and yet apply [her] passion for craftsmanship.”
Behida Dolić has leaped mountains since her first days in the US and now leads a rather successful millenary label, featured in national fashion publications and worn by celebrities across the world. Take a look at her hats, especially the Spring and Fall 2016 collections that have been inspired by the 1960s new French wave (what she imagines a modern day Jean Seberg, Jane Birkin or Ana Karina would love to wear), and it’s not difficult to believe why so many have taken an instant liking to her designs. 
Her favourite three hats (we had to ask purely because we couldn’t decide for ourselves) are Henri, Freya and Gideon. She describes them as “simple and chic with a touch of unusual detail…yet practical.” Henri because it’s her favourite combination: amazing colour and details, and the masculine shape; Freya because the longer ribbons allow you to tie your hat to your back when you don’t want to wear it; Gideon because it’s playful – the extra tall crown allowing you to pull in your long hair. “When I think of an idea I have the urge to create it immediately. Often I don’t even know how I’m going to execute it or how long it will take, but everything else takes a back seat. I become obsessed with details, like hand embroidering, which I do for hours on end. This is how I’ve come up with my best collections. I allow time for my creativity and obsessive artist behaviour”, she says. 
Although Behinda already has a solid variety from her collections so far, there’s no stopping just yet. She wants her hats to be made available in shops worldwide, while her quality and craftsmanship remains the same. Her proudest moment? “My siblings and I come from a place where most women don’t have any education, let alone the ability to make their living as artists or business owners. I was determined to change the course of my life. With persistence and hard work, I’m proud to say that I spend each and every day doing something that I love. The best part is, it’s my career.”

About the Author

Unsah splits her time between being a social media editor for a newspaper's travel desk and freelancing as a journalist and social media specialist. She spends half of her life on Twitter and Instagram – @unsahmalik – and the other half encouraging others to spend more time on their Twitter and Instagram.