Interview: Hat Designer Janessa Leone Discusses Her Effortlessly Cool Collections

You may not have heard of hat designer Janessa Leone, but if you've come across recent paparazzi photos of Jessica Alba, you've definitely seen her designs. After scooping up two different styles, Alba has joined a handful of top-tier style bloggers as fans of Leone's eponymous line of handmade fedoras. While Leone admits that having a celebrity following is exciting, she is taking the attention in stride. "It's nice to see that what I am creating is getting a stamp of approval, and it's more motivation to keep working hard and creating things that I believe in," said Leone.

Inspired by a vintage hat she found in Paris, Leone launched her first collection nearly two years ago. "I possessed a certain confidence when I wore this hat and I knew I wanted to create hats that would give people a similar air," she says.

With two collections under her belt and a third in the works, Leone is now hoping to use more than just stylish toppers to trigger that same feeling in her customers. She is setting her sights on a full lifestyle brand rooted in the quality craftsmanship and timeless designs that characterize her fedoras.

We recently chatted with the designer about fashion, running a business and, of course, hats.