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NHV Hat Contest 2024

Theme: 'Seize the Day/ Pluk de dag/ Carpe Diem'


Welcome to the 19th edition of the International NHV Hat Competition!

For this competition, we are joining a beautiful hat event at the gorgeous Castle Gardens of Arcen in northern Limburg: Mother's Day, Hat Day. During Mother's Day, Hat Day, now a tradition, the most beautiful hats are displayed and worn. There will be various activities and fashion shows, all dedicated to "the hat". Top hat designers and designers in training at Sint Lucas in Boxtel show their collection. But above all, Kasteeltuinen (Castle Gardens) Arcen is one of the most versatile flower and plant parks in Europe, consisting of no less than fifteen different gardens situated around a historic country estate with a 17th-century castle. It is this floral wealth that gave us the idea for this edition of the Hat Competition: Seize the Day / Pluk de dag / Carpe Diem.


So a floral theme for next spring. But it wouldn't be a contest if there wasn't a challenge attached to it! How does it work? After registering, each participant is assigned a flower to be inspired by. You do not know in advance which flower you will get and you cannot choose. Keep an eye on your mailbox after your registration!


This flower will be the starting point of your design. A hat competition inspired by flowers requires creativity and flair. Participants can of course use floral patterns, incorporate real flowers or integrate the shape of flowers into their hats. But you can also do things differently. You can take the flower theme literally, but also figuratively. After all, every flower has a symbolic meaning. However, a flower can also play a role in a story, a fairy tale, a legend. Or maybe the flower you have been assigned evokes a special memory for you personally.


The challenge of this theme is to translate the (story of the) flower into a hat or fascinator in a surprising and original way. Think outside the box, draw on the beauty and diversity of the floral kingdom, go for originality and craftsmanship. We hope that all entries together will form a wonderful carpet of flowers, not inferior to the gardens of Arcen!


Everyone is welcome to enter this competition, whether you are a hobbyist, a professional, advanced or a novice milliner, living within the Netherlands or abroad.                                                                                                                        

An annually-changing professional jury will nominate ten hats from all the entries on the basis of originality, quality and millinery craftmanship. From these ten, the three winning designs will be chosen.

As always, only fifty places are available to enter.

The deadline to enter the competition is January 31st, 2024. Participating designs must have arrived at the submission address no later than March 30th, 2024.

Competition conditions

Under the heading competition conditions, you will find all the information about the NHV Hat Competition 2024. Read these terms and conditions carefully: this way you’ll be sure that you have a chance to place among the top ten or even the winning three designs!


We would like to announce the jury members:


Stephen Jones

Born in Cheshire, and schooled in Liverpool, Stephen Jones burst on to the London fashion scene during its explosion of street style in the late seventies. By day, he was a student at St Martins; after dark he was one of that era's uncompromising style-blazers at the legendary Blitz nightclub - always crowned with a striking hat of his own idiosyncratic design.

By 1980, Jones had opened his first millinery salon in the heart of London's Covent Garden, where he received literally everyone, from pop star Boy George to Diana, Princess of Wales. Jones made millinery seem modern and compelling.

In materials that were often radical, and in designs that ranged from refined to whimsical, his exquisitely crafted, quixotic hats encapsulated the fashion mood of the moment. Forty years later, Jones's era-defining edge continues to attract a celebrity clientele. 

Since the early 80s Stephen Jones collaborated with designers from Vivienne Westwood and Thierry Mugler through to his current work with Schiaparelli and Christian Dior. In 2009 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, he curated the hugely popular exhibition 'Hats, an Anthology by Stephen Jones'. His hats are also collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Louvre in Paris.

Today, Jones' retail boutique, design studio and workroom are all located in a charming Georgian townhouse close to the site of his very first millinery salon. In addition to his Model Millinery collection, he designs the Miss Jones and JonesBoy diffusion ranges. 



Carina van ’t Hof

Carina (1965) has been wearing hats since she was twelve years old. As a result, it was often jokingly said that she would one day make headgear herself because of her "expensive" hobby. And so it happened!

Fortunately, there is now an official millinery training again, but in '98/'99 there was none. That's how she ended up with David Vos and Joop Knoppers in Amsterdam. These two had such a love for their craft that she immediately succumbed. For more than a year, Carina had private lessons every Saturday.

In the years that followed, she attended various workshops, including with Marianne Jongkind. In 1999 she started a part-time studio for bespoke hats: Hoed van 't Hof Arcen. In 2002 this changed into a studio with a shop where it was immediately noticeable that the threshold to enter for a homemade hat was much lower. In 2010 she took the plunge to make it her beloved full-time job and not without success. This year she celebrates her 25th anniversary.


Also with passion, Carina organizes Mother's Day Hat Day every year in collaboration with Castle Gardens Arcen; an event that has now been put on the international map. This beautiful location not only gives a stage to recognized milliners but also to amateurs and students. It is a great addition to this wonderful Hat event that the NHV will hold their Hat Competition on the preceding Saturday. Her answer to the question whether she wanted to be part of the jury therefore was a resounding YES!


Janneke Brinkman-Salentijn (1948) graduated in biology majoring in microbiology from the Vrije Universteit Amsterdam.  During her studies she learned to draw with an eye for detail, which would eventually become the basis of her current work. 

After graduating, Janneke taught biology in Amsterdam for several years. The family moved to Leiden where she took classes from teacher Leny Noyen at the drawing and painting academy Ars Aemula Naturae. When  Janneke started painting for herself, she focused on painting watercolours of the flowers and plants of the famous Leiden Hortus Botanicus which was virtually just around the corner of her house.

This Hortus Botanicus was and still is a great source of inspiration. She took many painting  courses in the Netherlands as well as abroad,  with among others Anne-Marie Evans (the Grand Old Lady of botanical drawing), in the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden from Anita Walsmit Sachs-Jansen, and in the United States with Pandora Sellars and Jenny Phililips. The combination of art and science as well as thirty years of experience has made her to one of the best botanical illustrators in The Netherlands.  

Since 1990 Janneke Brinkman has exhibited internationally in lot of solo exhibitions and group exhibitions. For twenty years she published stories in women’s magazine Margriet about flowers and plants, gardens and family, with her own floral illustrations. She has been writing columns for Max television company since 2016. 

Since more than thirty years Janneke is renowned in the Netherlands through her floral drawings on table and house ware, post cards, calendars and stamps.


Jytte Maas (2005) is a third-year student at SintLucas College in Boxtel, and studies textile design and craft. At SintLucas she first came into contact with hat making, and that is how she found her passion.

During her studies, Jytte did a five-month internship with milliner Berry Rutjes. This was a very enjoyable, successful and above all educational experience.

Here she came into contact with a lot of students and course participants and noticed that she also found teaching very interesting. In addition to her studies, she also contributes as content creator and assistant at the Dutch Hat Academy.

Her style as a novice milliner and designer is diverse but can be described as 'Modern classic with a twist'.

After graduating, she would like to study Arts & Crafts at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences to further develop herself as a designer. After that, she might want to obtain a teaching qualification.

Hat show and exhibition

The Hat Show will take place at Kasteeltuinen Arcen (Limburg) on May 11th, 2024. The winners will be announced after the hat show. Afterwards, the competition hats will be exhibited for a duration of three weeks after the competition day in Arcen.


The winner will, of course, receive the silver NHV hatpin. In addition, we proudly offer the following prizes:

1st prize

A voucher worth € 500, from Plooij Hats and Materials, Uddel (Netherlands) and a hat block from L’Atelier du Formier (France), a one year subscription to The Hat Magazine (UK) and a signed copy of the book ‘Making Silk flowers’ by Anne Tomlin (UK).In addition, the winner will receive an invitation to take part in the international podcast Millinery.Info with an interview by Lauren Ritchie (Australia). In case the winner has been featured in this podcast before, one of the other winners may be invited.


2nd prize

A voucher worth € 300 from De Vroey Hats, Antwerp (Belgium) and a voucher worth € 300 from The Trimming Company (UK).

3rd prize

A signed copy of the book ‘Hat Couture’ by Marianne Jongkind (Netherlands) and a package worth € 100 from CdiC Supplies (Belgium).

People’s Choice Award 2024

A package of hat materials worth € 100 composed by Marjorie Louwerens from All for Hats (Netherlands).

Please take note: Vouchers cannot be traded for cash. When vouchers are redeemed, the shipping costs and/or import duties on materials sent to you from abroad will be borne by the winners.
Neither the companies that provide the prizes, nor the NHV are responsible for these costs.


The participation fee is € 50,- for NHV members in the Netherlands and Belgium and € 65,- for non-members. For participants from other countries a surcharge of € 5,- is added to cover postal costs. Participants will have free access to the opening show in June 2023 and will receive a photo booklet featuring all submitted designs after the show. Sign in!

Submission of Entries

For all participants, your competition hat must be received at the submission address no later than March 30th, 2024

Please weigh your parcel and measure its dimensions before shipping. We need this information to calculate the return shipping costs of your hat.

We ask you to submit photos of and information about your competition hat twice; (1) printed on A4 paper in your mail package and (2) digitally, using this form.

Information on what we ask you to provide can be read here: competition conditions.

Delivery address

The delivery address will be sent to you after registration.                                           

Do you still have questions after reading the competition conditions? Please send an e-mail to wedstrijd@nederlandsehoedenvereniging.nl.

View Previous Submissions

Curious to see the creations of past participants? Have a look at all previous entries in the photo gallery