Couture Hats – A heady mix of beauty & art


Nina Rai

Molding exquisite beauty into timeless head pieces was just the beginning of the journey Nina Rai set out on. Taking inspiration from the elegance and glamor of the 1920’s for her first headpieces collection, she started Couture Hats after having worked as a fashion stylist and makeup artist.

We had a chance to talk to Nina Rai about Couture Hats. Let’s hear it from her. 

YFS: Tell us something about your childhood, early life and education.

Nina: I come from a background of the arts and have been highly creative from the beginning. I have always been inquisitive and love learning new creative techniques. It led to my covering a broad area of the arts and design from fine art, sculpting, silversmiths craft, photography, make up artistry and everything in between. I also studied graphic design at ‘London College of Printing’ and the prestigious ‘Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts’.

YFS: How did the journey begin with Nina Rai Couture Hats?63546_467085660026176_1272245718_n

Nina: The transition into creating the eponymous brand was a natural and seamless one. Having a vast repertoire of skills and a long standing fascination with adornment and exquisite beauty, the creation of the designs came to form intuitively and organically.

YFS: What kind of accessories you design under Couture Hats?

Nina: The Nina Rai Couture Collections are a distinct range of classic tiaras, elegant feathered head pieces and stylish crystal slides, encompassing skilful craftsmanship and fine artistry to create exquisite head jewellery that embodies richness, elegance and sophisticated style. Each piece is created as a work of art – a thing of beauty.

YFS: Tell us about your previous work history before ‘Couture Hats.’

Nina: Previously I worked as a fashion stylist and make artist collaborating with designers, models and photographers on shoots which involved creating the right look and feel for the image. I now apply both these skill sets to creating the imagery for the brand.

10624844_708159552585451_412160495280142446_nYFS: What were the initial challenges you faced while setting up your own brand and getting visibility?

Nina: I had no real challenges in setting up the brand and gaining visibility. Once the first collection was developed, I showcased them at ‘Grays’ in Mayfair London – home to one of the world’s largest jewelry, antiques and vintage fashion – and approached select prominent online platforms and outlets in prime locations in Central London.

YFS: What is the inspiration behind these beautiful creations?

Nina: The inspiration behind the designs was to create pieces of exquisite beauty, fine artistry and exceptional craftsmanship. Pieces that can be kept for time to come. The ethos of the brand lays rooted in sophisticated style and classic elegance.

YFS: Which is your best selling product?

Nina: The crystal slides are the bestselling designs as they are extremely versatile and suitable for many occasional events. The ‘Dante’ tiara and the ‘Deir’ head piece also remains a favorite.

YFS: Through what channels are you selling right now? 

Nina: Currently the collections are available in select London outlets – ‘Kruszynska Couture’ a couture boutique in Knightsbridge and ‘Grays’ in Mayfair. The designs are also available on several online platforms internationally and of course the ‘Nina Rai Couture Hats’ website.

YFS: Tell us something about your upcoming designs.

Nina: The upcoming designs are quite unique – I will not give too much away, but will say they are of high fashion, opulent, rich and definitely statement pieces.

YFS: Do you have any of favorite inspiring quotes.

Nina: This is my own. Sophisticated Elegance and Style is the core of my work.

To know more about Nina Rai Couture Hats, visit


Story Credit – Ankita Bhalani

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