Rep. Frederica Wilson shares her famous hat collection with Netflix
Rep. Frederica Wilson is opening up her closet doors and offering a never-before-seen peek at her coveted hat collection.
The Florida Democrat — and her signature hats — have a starring role on the new docuseries “Worn Stories.” The show, which recently launched on Netflix, details the “fascinating and quirky stories” behind meaningful pieces of clothing from people from all walks of life.
“I’ve had requests from everywhere — you can just imagine through the years,” Wilson tells ITK of those wanting to get a glimpse at her hundreds of hats. “From local TV stations, to a filming with ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta,’ I just have never [allowed it].”
Hats have been Wilson’s trademark accessory since she came to Congress in 2011.
“Everyone had on navy blue, gray, black and white, and there I was standing with this blood red suit and blood red hat and blood red shoes,” she says in the series of her arrival on Capitol Hill a decade ago.
Beyond enjoying dressing up — the congresswoman says she doesn’t own a pair of jeans — Wilson explains there’s another reason she’s rarely seen without her fancy headwear.
“I sometimes think that people have a certain perception of how Black women look or should look,” says 78-year-old Wilson.
“I don’t know how to really put it, but it’s like almost a perception that maybe all Black people are poor or can’t afford to dress up or look like they just walked out of a bandbox or out of Saks Fifth Avenue or out of Neiman Marcus.”
“And so when I dress up, people look!” Wilson exclaims. “I walk through the airport, people turn around and look. They say, ‘Who’s that lady?’ They think I’m a movie star or somebody different, not just an ordinary Black lady. They just see me as someone who has broken the stereotype.”
In the Netflix episode — which was filmed in March 2020, a day before much of the country went into lockdown at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic — Wilson shows off her collection, which seemingly spans every color of the rainbow.
“I’m not just a hat person, I’m an ensemble person,” she says, likening her dressy attire to her “daily uniform.”
“When you stand out in a crowd of policymakers, people pay attention to what you have to say,” Wilson says, “so it helps you get shit done.”