NHV Hat Contest 2021

Theme: Waste not, want not!

Welcome to the 16th International NHV Hat Contest ‘Waste not, want not'!

For the 2021 contest, the mission was to design a men's or women's (cocktail) hat or headpiece out of Panama straw. Each participant received a "surprise package" (the contents of each box are different) containing a slightly damaged Panama capeline, with a frayed edge for example, and trimmings left over from the process of transforming a straw capeline into a hat. This material was provided by The Panama Hat Company, which normally uses these remnants and rejected capelines to make cocktail hats and trimmings themselves. The registration fee for the contest includes purchase of the straw and shipping to an addresses in the Netherlands or Belgium.

The idea behind this challenge is that, as a creative, you do not always have to work with new materials, but should also be able to make something new from existing things, completely in line with the current global pursuit of sustainability. When making your contest hat, any way of adapting the material sent is allowed, such as painting, deconstruction, transformation, etc. A limiting condition, however, is that you may use support materials but may not add any additional material. An exception to this is the use of alternative materials for decoration and garnish, which are permitted as long as Panama straw continues to play the leading role. Not all the Panama straw sent to you needs to be used.

If you would like more information about the age-old craft of Panama straw braiding, take a look at the website of Majesa/The Panama Hat Company: www.panamahats.co.uk


Hat Show and Exhibition

Unfortunately, we are unable to organise the Competition Hat Show as we had originally hoped. The CODA management has not received offical confirmation that the start of events, other than exhibitions, wil be allowed again on June 5th and has therfore asked us to only let a minimum amount of people inside. This means that no audience can be present, not even the participating hat makers.


This year, the Competition Hat show can be followed live again on the NHV social media. You can see the show once again on Instagram .Herma de Jong, chairman of the Jury wil announced the winner of the contest.


The contest hats will remain on display in the CODA Museum for the three weeks following the contest day. (All this is subject to any changes, in connection with any Covid-19 measures in force at the time.)


Anyone could register for this contest, whether it’s your hobby, if you’re a professional, advanced or amateur milliner or hatter, living within the Netherlands or abroad. An annually-changing professional jury will choose a selection of ten nominated hats from the entries based on originality, quality and craftsmanship. Three winning designs will be chosen out of these ten.

As usual, there are only 50 places available. At the moment it is not possible to join anymore as the maximum number of participants has signed up.

Participants designs must have arrived at the delivery address no later than April 25th, 2021.


Contest Conditions

On our website, under the heading Contest Conditions you will find this information about the Hat Contest 2021 again. Read these conditions carefully: This way you can be sure to have a chance at being chosen among the top ten or maybe even the winning three designs! 



This year's jury members are:

Herma de Jong, milliner from Baarn (chairman of the Jury), Anne Marie van der Veen, Chairman of BMA, Branch Association Fashion Crafts, Mavi Tzaig, owner of Majesa, The Panama Hat Company Luton (supplier of the contest materials) and Yara de Vries, student at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague.

Herma de Jong

Herma de Jong has been designing and making hats for 25 years in her cozy and attractive studio in Baarn under the name Herma Dejong Hat Design. After a technical fashion course that awakened her natural sense of spatial design, she was given the idea to create something unique out of an accessory that seemed to be extinct at the end of the last century: the hat.

Her education was supplemented with valuable knowledge of well-known Dutch hat designers and with that, she developed her own technique and style while being a pioneer in this field.


De Jong is now a renowned Dutch designer and creates hats for a wide range of women, including famous Dutch ladies from the world of entertainment and politics. She not only designs hats and bags, but also tailor-made clothing for various ministers and MPs for Prinsjesdag*. She designs for royals and has commissions for theater and television but at the same time, designs functional, casual hats and beanies for winter, rain and sun. Currently (2020) De Jong is making historical hats for a Dutch television production.


As she takes part in national and international exhibitions, the Kunstmuseum [Art Museum] Den Haag has purchased her work. Apart from designing, De Jong is a much sought-after speaker at conferences. She organizes events, workshops and courses for corporate groups as well as private individuals. De Jong also offers internships and supervises young talent.


* The day on which the reigning monarch of the Netherlands addresses a joint session of the Dutch Senate and House of Representatives to give a speech setting out the main features of government policy for the coming parliamentary session. The Queen and all female MPs in attendance are accustomed to wear hats.


Anne Marie van der Veen

Anne Marie van der Veen is, in addition to chairing the BMA, Branch Association Fashion Crafts, also the owner of KunstZinnig textile. Sense or ‘Zinning’ in Dutch, in the word KunstZinnig is spelled with a capital letter because what she does in her studio must make sense, otherwise she won’t even begin. Anne Marie lives in Zwolle, where her studio is situated. She makes tailor-made clothing for women based on the vision ‘Sustainable, Think, Do!’

This means that her sewing machines run on solar energy, that she works a lot with materials that others have given up on and that she passes on her knowledge on to others through teaching. While ‘sustainablility’ may now seem to be a trendy concept, Anne Marie already started on this path of sustainable thinking and doing 15 years ago. In 2014 she received the ‘Vakgenoten Prize’, a prize from colleagues in her area of expertise, for her coat made of plastic bags. This jacket, the Artistic Convertible, went to the European Master Tailor Congress in Basel, Austria that same year, where it was able to make its mark on the catwalk together with creations from other designers in this field.

The theme of the NHV Hat Contest 2021 is therefore very close to Anne Marie's heart!


Jenny Froehlich

Jenny Froehlich from MAJESA PANAMAS started the business 35 years ago after coming to the UK in the early 70s and learning about Ecuadorian imports while working at the Ecuadorian Embassy. Today Jenny and her daughter Mavi make and sell the largest range of Panamas in Europe. For Jenny panamas are a “work of art”, woven by one of their 500 self-employed weavers in Ecuador. 

They are then made in the UK in the home of Hats (Luton) in an old Victorian hat factory. They are made by hand using the oldest hat making techniques where a team of skilled craftspeople takes the hat through ten processes. 


Yara de Vries

Yara de Vries is a second-year Fashion student at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. 


The COVID-19 crisis has certainly left its mark on the hat industry. Nonetheless a number of suppliers have once again kindly sponsored a range of beautiful prizes:


1st prize
- Voucher worth € 550 from Devroey Antwerp
- 2-day workshop with Marianne Jongkind
- Annual subscription to the Hat Magazine

2nd prize
- Voucher worth € 450 from The Trimming Company
3rd prize
- Voucher worth € 350 from Plooij Hats & Materials  

Public’s prize
- Voucher worth € 175 from Pierre & Pierre


Once again, we are sincerely grateful to our sponsors! The winner of the first prize will also receive the coveted silver pin designed by the wonderful craftsperson, Rolien Korstjens and symbolising the new NHV logo. Moreover, in addition to the usual certificate, all winners this year will also receive a beautiful large photo of their winning hat.



The participation fee is €65,- for NHV-members and €80,- for non-members.

For participants living outside the Netherlands or Belgium, a surcharge of €10,- is added as a contribution towards the shipping costs.

The registration fee for the contest includes purchase of the straw. Participants have free access to the opening show in June 2021 and will receive a photo booklet with all submitted designs after the show.


Submitting your Hat

The following applies to all participants: your contest hat must be received at the delivery address by April 25th, 2021.

We ask you to provide photos of and information about your contest hat twice; once printed on an A4 sheet with your parcel and once digitally via the hat entry form here at the website.

You can read what information we ask you to provide in the Contest Conditions.


Delivery address

c/o NHV

Mauvestraat 57
2596 XP The Hague
The Netherlands


If you have any questions after reading the Contest Conditions, please send an email to wedstrijd@nederlandsehoedenvereniging.nl.


View Previous Submissions

Curious to see the creations of past participants? View all previous entries from recent years in the photo gallery.