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Cha Cha's House of Ill Repute
Nearby Subway Stops
F at York St.
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Milliner Dina Pisani has been a fan of dressing up since childhood, when she had a backstage view of the shiny costumes her mother wore as a Rockette. She began studying millinery at FIT in 1994, designing hats for private clients on a word-of-mouth basis. She relocated from her Lower East Side studio to this Dumbo showroom in 2006, outfitting the space with vibrant red walls and plush gold armchairs, evoking a vintage bordello straight out of New Orleans (also the inspiration for her store name). The shop doubles as a studio space, complete with sewing machines and a busily stitching intern. Pisani prefers practicing old-school techniques, sculpting each topper by hand with wooden blocks and trimming it with flea-market finds like skull-imprinted ribbons, peacock feathers, tie-dyed fabric, and distressed leather. Classic thirties-inspired felt or straw fedoras, cloches, and top hats model modern twists, earning her a following among fashionistas, international wholesalers, and A-list celebs—she helped Justin Timberlake bring sexy back with a tight, short-brimmed style known as the Stingy Fedora.
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