Unique and personal hats. Made by hand.

by Sofia Caldas

Sofia Caldas, born in June 1981 in Guimarães, has long held interests in drawing, writing, crafting, and observing the world around her. She particularly values storytelling and has a penchant for collecting narratives.Understanding one’s environment and delving into human nature are focal points for Sofia. Her aim is to foster genuine communication through her work, which involves creating hats that evoke memories and stir emotions.

In 2000/2001, Sofia worked as a monitor for occupational activities, specifically with children facing learning difficulties, including those who were deaf-mute and autistic. This experience broadened her perspective, emphasizing the importance of equality and accessibility. „It made me confront the countless barriers that exist for some and that must be eliminated. Promoting equality and accessibility for everyone is a principle on which I base myself, I try to create pieces for everyone and that everyone can feel regardless of their nature. Hats with sound, hats with Braille, hats with various textures such as stone and wood follow this principle.“

Following her completion of a Fine Arts degree in 2007, Sofia gained experience as a set designer in theater and worked extensively in a hat store.

Proofed values

„When I create a hat, I want it to touch someone’s bottom.
Make the person remember forgotten moments,
make them feel things that they had already forgotten.
Offering unexpected moments of pleasure and
magic is what I like to do!“

Sofia Caldas

AVO ATELIER emerged from Sofia Caldas’s vision, blending her artistic background and expertise in millinery. It serves as a space for her to explore the intersection of art, life, and people through the medium of hats. Each piece crafted by Sofia is unique, reflecting personal narratives and challenging conventional norms.

Inspired by her grandfather, AVO pays homage to familial influence and the enduring appeal of his hats. AVO comes from the Portuguese word that refers to grand-father – “Avô”. To create custom pieces, Sofia engages clients in a collaborative process, incorporating their memories and preferences. She maintains open communication throughout the process, ensuring that each hat reflects the essence of its wearer. „To make a Custom Hat, I usually ask the client to write to me and tell me about themselves, their memories, tastes… For a few days I reflect on all the information received, until I think I can somehow connect with the person. Once I have in mind the hat that I think reflects the person, I present it to the client, we make adjustments if necessary and move on to creating the hat. Throughout the process I always send photographs to the client so that they can follow and get involved in some way.“

Sofia has also taken part in numerous well-known exhibitions with her unique hats.

ALL IMAGES © Diana Salomé Sousa

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