Kentucky Derby Museum announces its Derby 150 Featured Milliners

Kentucky Derby Museum announces its Derby 150 Featured Milliners

Kentucky Derby Museum announces its Derby 150 Featured Milliners

Tickets on sale for the annual Derby Museum Hat Show on Sunday, March 24

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (February 28, 2024) – Kentucky Derby Museum is honored to announce that five female business owners will make up its prestigious group of 2024 Featured Milliners, and their stunning designs will be on display at the annual Derby Museum Hat Show. VIP and Premier tickets are on sale now for the fan-favorite event on Sunday, March 24, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Melissa Huff, Mary Julia Kaiser, Ilana Kogan, Christine Moore, and Jenny Pfanenstiel, the same milliners who knocked everyone’s hats off last year, have been selected again to take part in the Museum's Featured Milliner program, which was designed to highlight the beautiful artform of millinery and support small business owners. The five milliners are excited to show off their work during the hottest, head-turning fashion show ahead of Derby 150 at the Kentucky Derby Museum Hat Show!

"As we gear up for the 150th Kentucky Derby, the excitement is palpable, and the Hat Show is at the heart of it all," said Katie Fussenegger, Kentucky Derby Museum Executive Vice President. "This annual event not only showcases the incredible talent of our Featured Milliners but also emphasizes the importance of hat making as an art form deeply rooted in Derby history. The Kentucky Derby Museum Hat Show brings together tradition, innovation, and a whole lot of fun, setting the stage for a Derby season that will be nothing short of spectacular!"

This one-of-a-kind extravaganza promises an exclusive peek at the latest couture creations from the Featured Milliners and jewelry trends from David Yurman and Davis Jewelers that will leave you inspired for this year's Derby season. Guests can enjoy complimentary mimosas, bloody marys, and brunch bites to kickstart the fun, then models will hit the runway just before noon. After the show, everyone can shop and mingle with the milliners to plan their show-stopping Derby looks. This year, Wine Country Women will also offer premium sparkling wine options from Napa Valley and Sonoma County winemakers.

Spring is in the air and Derby is right around the corner, so grab your friends, dust off your most fabulous fascinator, and head to the Kentucky Derby Museum Hat Show for an unforgettable experience.

Melissa Huff -- Mad Hatter 502

Melissa Huff is the owner of the fun and sophisticated Mamili Boutique and Mad Hatter 502, her stylish Derby hat boutique. Huff, a Louisville native, has been attending The Kentucky Derby since she was a kid with her family. She decided to start making hats and fascinators in 2017 for her friends, then she launched Mad Hatter 502 after people started seeing her designs and requesting custom pieces.

Huff was named a Featured Milliner of the Kentucky Derby Museum in 2023. She has created hats and fascinators for state pageant winners, news anchors, the Kentucky Derby Princesses, friends, family and many other wonderful clients, both local and from out of town. She has been featured in several local magazines, on Great Day Live! and many of her hats and fascinators have been in numerous fashion shows leading up to the Kentucky Derby the last three years.

Mary Julia Kaiser -- derbyologie

Louisville native, Mary Julia Kaiser is owner and designer of derbyologie — a line of show-stopping fascinators featuring a spectrum of styles from graceful to gutsy! Raised in the Bluegrass, her love for all things Derby started young, dating back to the quintessential Kindergarten Derby. Inspired by Kentucky’s southern charm and Brooklyn’s urban flair, her hat designs mesh the traditional millinery materials with modern textures. Generously feathery, imported fabrics, and hand-sewn details create a signature style for the simply elegant and the simply over-the-top.

Kaiser was named a Featured Milliner of the Kentucky Derby Museum in 2023. Derbyologie has been tickled to dress the heads of clients at the Royal Ascot in London, Queen’s Tea in London, Melbourne Cup in Australia, and countless locals with really great taste.

Ilana Kogan -- The Hat Doctor

The Hat Doctor is more than just a fun name for a millinery business. Ilana Kogan, owner and sole milliner, is also a full-time radiologist. Kogan is originally from New York City and moved to Kentucky in 2005 to attend the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Her business began when she started creating Derby hats for her medical school classmates by reconstructing and embellishing hats on students’ budgets. Now, years later, her handmade, one-of-a-kind designs showcase her love for creative silhouettes and delicately embroidered details.

The Hat Doctor has been a Featured Milliner of the Kentucky Derby Museum since 2022. Kogan's designs have been featured in The Voice-Tribune, TOPS Magazine, Today’s Woman, Elizabethtown Lifestyle, and Garden & Gun.

Christine Moore -- Christine A. Moore Millinery

Christine Moore is one of the most celebrated milliners in American horse racing. She started her career in the world of theater as a costume designer and quickly began making hats for regional theatre productions. In 1990, she moved to New York City to work for renowned milliner Rodney Gordon where she spent four years making hats for Opera and Broadway productions, such as Phantom of the Opera and Cats. In 1994, she established Christine A. Moore Millinery. Although Moore's designs a wide range of women and men’s hats, she is best known for her explosive racing styles for the Kentucky Derby, many of which have been displayed in the Kentucky Derby Museum.

Moore has been a Featured Milliner of the Kentucky Derby Museum since 2021. Her hats have graced many magazine covers, and her hats have been showcased on television shows including Nashville, The Carrie Diaries, Gossip Girl, and Horse Players.

Jenny Pfanenstiel -- Formé Millinery Co.

Jenny Pfanenstiel is a world-renown milliner, awarded and recognized for her skill of creating and sculpting hats by hand using the highest quality and rare materials from across the globe. The art of millinery is a technique that dates back centuries through molding straw and felt over wooden hat forms, which she takes great pride in applying with each one-of-a-kind hat. Pfanenstiel is also known throughout the world for her unique process of sculpting hats on a braid machine from the 1800s. She is truly passionate about her craft and empowering those who wear her hats to feel confident and beautiful.

Pfanenstiel has been a Featured Milliner of the Kentucky Derby Museum since the program's inception in 2017. She has two hat shop locations in the Louisville area, Formé Millinery Co. and The Hat Shoppe, and she has crafted hats for some of the world's most well-known dignitaries and celebrities, including Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Neil Diamond, and Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran.

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