Strolling through the centre of Zagreb you must have seen Kobali Hat Shop, a studio that has become an unavoidable symbol of the capital over years. Nada Kobali opened her hat shop in 1975 but the tradition dates back 100 years ago as she is the member of the third generation in the family of milliners. Nada Kobali’s grandmother made headgears, her mother continued the trade, and finally she does it now.
“For me, this is the most beautiful job in the world, and I feel particularly fulfilled with my everyday work on new models,” Nada Kobali describes her profession of a hatter.
There is almost no lady in Zagreb that does not have at least one Kobali hat model. Compared to the past, Nada Kobali says that the hat making process has not changed much since hats are still made manually, just as they were 100 years ago. Since every hat is unique and is a true art piece, their price is higher compared to the industrial collections, but it does not prevent customers to return constantly for hats.
Nada’s fancy hats are loved by both women and men. The process of production of a hat starts by its forming on a hat block, the edges are finished by sewing, and afterwards, the hat is decorated with various ribbons, leather pieces or flowers, depending on whether a model is intended for the summer or the winter. “I mainly design women’s hats, though we happen to make men’s hats as well, and I am most proud of the design of caps that are worn now by the Croatian army officers”, said Nada Kobali.
Permanent customers adore posh Kobali hats, which are prevailed by classical models, and very often foreign buyers come into the shop to buy a unique hat model. As for the future plans, Nada Kobali has only one wish, to continue to enjoy making timeless hats as she has by now.