Lady Gaga just released her new album, Joanne, in a very Gaga-esque fashion — with an epic bar tour concert series and a killer new look. And unless you’ve been living a social-media free life, it would be tough to miss the pale pink hat she’s worn with everything from elegant trousers to jean shorts to celebrate the launch of the album. The woman responsible for Gaga’s new signature topper? Gladys Tamez.
Tamez, a L.A.-based milliner who produces all hats by hand, started working with Gaga two years ago on various projects before designing the wide-brimmed pastel pink hat worn on the Joanne album cover. The style was actually a look based off one of the designs from her 2013 “Fashion Icons” capsule collection. “Gaga told me she loves pink,” Tamez tells PeopleStyle. “I brought several samples, several designs and we agreed to have one, and then two and then more and more.”
But Tamez had no idea at the time these designs would ever land on the cover of Gaga’s album. “It was a complete surprise for me. I found out a day before the artwork was released.” (And she celebrated by renaming the original style “Joanne,” which is available on her website for $680.)
Ever since the tour kicked off, Gaga has been spotted in a variety of chapeaus, all designed by Tamez. And for someone as costume-focused as Gaga, you know that means a lot of hat boxes. “I sent over 30 hats or more, in a few different styles.”
While the “Joanne” has been the star’s staple, she also has been seen in a few other bespoke designs, including the “Bianca” (worn on Saturday Night Live) and a baby blue topper with a crumpled crown, worn after her SNL stint.
The accessory is certainly show-stopping, but Gaga’s made a concerted effort to keep her outfits relatively pared-down (emphasis on relatively). “To be frank, I would just prefer to go through this album cycle and talk about my music,” Gaga told The London Times’ Culture magazine. “That’d be great. It becomes about everything else, and that was what I [once] wanted. But if I wear a black T-shirt and black pants every day, [people] might listen to what I write. All the outfits, fashion and art pieces over the years made sense to me. They didn’t make sense to other people. But I always got it. It was an expression, not a hiding.”
To Tamez, knowing that the once out-there singer has been keeping her outfits hat-centric is an incredible honor. “It feels amazing. I’m proud and super happy,” Tamez says. “Hats give you confidence and the album is all about confidence and being true to herself.”
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The designer is in the spotlight now thanks to Gaga, but the singer is hardly her first famous client. “One of my first celebrity clients was [onetime Hat Person of the Year] Johnny Depp. And that changed everything,” she says. “It’s been several years and he’s still wearing it.”
In addition to working with stars including Sia, Madonna, Queen Latifah and Neil Young, she had a major moment at last year’s Super Bowl when Beyoncé’s backup dancers sported her designs during Formation. And now that Gaga is set to headline the halftime show, she hopes to be back at the Super Bowl in 2017 — and beyond. “Hopefully these hats will be a key part of the world tour and all the press for the album,” she says.
With the way Gaga is going, well, gaga over them, we have a good feeling her hats are here to stay.
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