In 1903 Julianna Mühlbauer opened a small millinery with shop attached in the Viennese suburb of Floridsdorf. Now, over 100 years later family business is in its fourth generation with Klaus Mühlbauer at the helm. In collaboration with designers Nora Berger and Madeleine Nostitz, he designs hat collections supported by a distinguished hat maker and millinery team in the Viennese factory. The most dedicated artisans and the best materials sourced worldwide come together to produce an exceptional quality. This didn’t remain secret for long: over 60% of the hats produced in our Viennese workshop depart for international destinations. Renowned stores around the globe as well as famous personalities such as Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Madonna and Yoko Ono have become Mühlbauer customers.
History and Family
Julianna Mühlbauer founded the headwear enterprise in 1903. She opened her first shop with adjoining workshop in the Viennese suburb of Floridsdorf.
Julianna’s oldest son, Robert, entered the business as a young man. He is responsible for making Mühlbauer synonymous for hats of the highest quality throughout Vienna.
Brigitte und Heinz Mühlbauer
Robert’s son Heinz and his wife Brigitte Mühlbauer expanded the network of shops from the 1960s onwards, broadening the range to include various apparel collections. They developed a hat collection inspired by traditional Austrian costume for international sales.
Klaus Mühlbauer has been managing the company since 2001 – in its fourth generation. He guided the traditional Viennese enterprise back to its roots, headwear, and is responsible for the internationalisation of the brand and product.
Making a hat
The hat maker’s skill is clearly demonstrated in the creation of a felt or straw hat. The raw material is the hat cone. This is pulled onto a hat block made of wood and affixed by hand. The thus formed, steamed, still damp hat is then dried in an oven. After drying the hat has its shape. Now it moves to the trimming department, where it is finished – meaning it is decorated and stitched according to all the rules of the craft.