Meet the Maker: Debbie Lorenzo of Frances Grey

By Christy Knell
February 13, 2021

What’s one thing Beyonce and Julia Stiles have in common? They both have great taste when it comes to headwear, and both have been spotted wearing hats designed by New York-based milliner Debbie Lorenzo of Frances Grey.

We are so excited to highlight this woman- and Black-owned small business this month at HudCo. Debbie will be showcasing her beautiful pieces during the Frances Grey Pop-up, Monday, February 15, through Friday, February 19, 9a-6p.

We caught up with Debbie to talk all things business and style.

Via Viaggio Fields

As we celebrate Black History month, who would you nominate as a major influence in your life?
I can’t just nominate one, I am surrounded by “BOSS CHICKS” and successful men that inspire and motivate me every day to level up! Surround yourself with men/women that keep you on your toes! Cheers to them!

What is one piece of advice you would share with someone launching their own brand?
I know you asked for one piece of advice but… these were crucial to the launching of my business.

  • Do not wait for ‘perfection’ or ‘the right time’ to launch your business. Nothing will ever be perfect, and if you are waiting for the right time…you will get discouraged and never start.
  • Do your research online, take classes to hone your skill.
  • Have a TO-DO list…this will keep you focused on prioritizing ‘work smarter, not harder’
  • Being an entrepreneur can be overwhelming, but if you are passionate about the business you are creating, that passion, that drive, will push you forward.
  • You’re your own boss…you must manage your time wisely!
  • Never stop reading and learning new things—there is always a better, smarter way to do something.

Your line is inspired by your travels. What has been your favorite warm weather and cold weather place to visit? And what hat would you pack with you?
I have a few favorite warm weather places, but Marrakesh city located in central Morocco is definitely one that stands out. I would pack Kingston or Kymmie classic short brim fedora and Jenna and Bella wide brims for more coverage.

I’m not fond of traveling to cold weather, however, if I did… Angie, Little Angie and the Rikki bucket would be what I would pack.

For people that typically don’t wear hats, what’s your advice for easy styling?
How I work with clients looking for the right hat… I say start off by looking at their face shape and personal style. With that in mind, I will recommend hats to try. A lot of times a client will say they don’t have a hat face or look good in hats but most hats they try on look good on them! They just needed guidance and a Frances Grey hat…problem solved!

Get inspired for your hat purchase at the Frances Grey Instagram feed, and make your way to HudCo this week to shop IRL.