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Janessa Leone

Behind some of music’s most memorable songs are the muses who inspired them. And while the glory usually goes to the rock god performing the iconic song, often the women behind the scenes – whose presence incited the heartfelt lyrics – deserve equal recognition.

These mysterious, unidentified muses were the inspiration for Janessa Leone’s hat collection, Shadows. While better-known musical muses such as Bianca Jagger and Jane Birkin have long been lauded for their influences, Janessa was more intrigued by the faceless beauties who have sparked so many beautiful, timeless pieces of music into existence. For instance, who was the mysterious Maggie who Rod Stewart so desperately needed to wake up so he could tell her something? And who was The Rolling Stones’ Ruby Tuesday, and where was she going? Janessa’s beautiful collection of hats is an homage that reflects and continues the legacy of women who we know through music, but whose identities have been kept in the shadows. Each of the felt fedoras in the Shadows collection bears the name of a mysterious muse, such as Sadie, Lucy, Maggie, Ruby and Isis – all names we are familiar with in song but know nothing about the women they refer to.

Currently dwelling in Los Angeles, Janessa designs her hats to mould intimately to the wearer over time, so that it eventually becomes a reminder of a life well lived. Taking cues from a bygone era, her designs reference a time when a woman’s innate confidence was conveyed through the juxtaposition of sharp, menswear-inspired tailoring and exaggerated feminine beauty.