Louisville designer creates needed Derby fashion item

Kenzie Kapp
Kenzie Kapp

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Derby is about the horses and, of course, the hats. A local hat designer, who was destined to become a hat designer with the name Kenzie Kapp, just set up shop in downtown Louisville. Recently, I met her at The Mill where they're churning out hat, after hat, after hat.

When asked how many hats, Kapp laughingly said "a lot."

Kapp opened her store less than two months ago on E. Main St. and Preston in her hometown.

"I started sewing when I was 7 or 8 and then I made my prom dress for high school," said Kapp. "That was ridiculous."

Kapp grew up going to the Derby over the years starting with the infield in college, then the bleacher seats, the paddock, the third floor. Her favorite part was always the fashions. She got her degree from the School of Design at the University of Cincinnati. Then, as fate would have it, friends asked her to make a hat for the Derby. Kapp was hooked.

"I had to learn supplies and how to use them," said Kapp. "And then I make things up as I go along."

Her creations have been worn by many women, including some more well-known like Dr. Jill Biden. Don't ask her to pick a favorite.

"They're kind of like kids," said Kapp. "Can't pick a favorite kid. If you have four can't pick one."

Some of the more intricate designs can take more than five hours to create. Each one done by hand, the reason why Kapp hasn't been getting much sleep lately. She even dyes the flowers and feathers she uses herself which is why sometimes her nails are a shade of blue.

Kapp suggests when wearing a hat keep the hair simple. If you wear a fascinator, pay attention to which side the decoration is on. It should go over the part in your hair, otherwise she says your hair can look thin.

On Derby Day Kapp can finally take a break. That is until things start cranking up again for next year.

"It's so fun, it's exciting," Kapp said.

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