Meet the Designer: Nina Barton

1 Sep
Today we are happy to bring you a new featured post called “Meet the Designer.” Meet the Designer will feature an artist, designer, craftsman, who has inspired us here at JBR Clothing and who we would like to share with all of our fans. We hope that you enjoy the people that we feature here and if you have a friend, family member, or you would like to be featured email us with your information! 
We would like you all to meet Nina Barton, owner and designer for Vintage Box 1947, a company that specializes in exotic hair accessories with a twist! 
Nina Barton
We asked Nina to answer the following questions about what inspires her and her take on vintage inspired fashion, here is what she had to tell us!
Vintage Revolution(VR): How long have you been making your hair accessories and what drew you to it?
Nina Barton(NB): I began making hair accessories in late 2008. I started after being laid off from a desk job and realized I couldn’t handle the office politics any longer and wanted to do something
creative. It was definitely a different medium as I have always painted and drawn. I remember watching Project Runway and feathers were popping up from one designer or another.

At that point, no one was selling them so I went from making the basic bow accessory to working with feathers. I still have the first piece that I made from a bag of feathers from Michaels and an old

brooch that I never wore. That fascinator is famed on my wall along with my first purchase order check as a reminder of how it all started.

(Photo by Rummy Photography)

VR:  Can you tell us where you find the inspiration for your hair accessories? We know that it is vintage inspired but where exactly do you draw from?

NB: My inspiration comes from many things! If you are open for inspiration you can go anywhere and find it. First, colors inspire me. I guess that is why bird feathers are such a big love of mine, their color pallets are amazing. Vintage jewelry is and will always be my huge inspiration; textures, colors, how it would be worn is inspiring. I find movies from the 1920s thru to the 50’s can help, their sense of style and accessorizing were stunning! And lastly, an elderly woman who remembers wearing something similar back in her hay day would tell me about how she would wear it [the accessories] and other items she liked. All of this gets me going to create.

VR: Are there specific stars, movies or pop culture icons that have inspired some of the looks that you design for, or have in mind?

NB: Honestly, I don’t have any one individual in mind when I design. They are for all woman to feel sexy and not feel like they have to be a star to pull it off. Of course, most of my items are for special occasions or a night out, but I create them so any woman can wear my designs, no matter her age or style.

Now, my off-the-cuff creative side for a celebrity would be for Lady Gaga. The fact that she does what she loves and thinks for herself is something to be admired.

(Photo Courtesy of Nina Burton, Vintage Box 1947)

VR: Who do you picture wearing your products and to what type of events? If it is an every day look that you are going for, why do you feel women can wear them every day?

NB: Another great question. It is so hard to explain. I don’t sit there thinking of one person when designing, unless it is a commissioned piece. If I am working with a client I discuss the occasion, colors, loves, hates, and have a photo of them that best fits their personality. They will give me photos of their inspiration and then I go from there. I find one can limited creative juices when designing pieces for just ONE person. You need to know who YOU are as a designer and go design from there, I think that is where your best creations come out. I hear more often than not “I wish I could wear one of your pieces.” Well ladies, you wear what you want to, not what others say you should wear. I hope that my items make a woman feel classy, sassy and unique. What woman doesn’t want to feel one of those things when accessorizing?
 (Photo Courtesy of Nina Burton, Vintage Box 1947)
VR:  What about vintage hair accessories is timeless to you?
NB: First, accessories will never go away. It is really how to pull a classic to a current that makes it interesting. Now, you can wear a right hair accessory or a wrong one. I would never recommend wearing one of my custom hats with a pair of jeans; I would throw you straight onto the “What not to wear list!” However, if you have a cute cocktail dress, DO IT! In the 1800’s, hats pretty much gave a woman her ranking. You’d see a woman accessorizing, you tend to look at her in a complimentary fashion. That is pretty powerful from just an accessory. My favorite quote is from Coco Chanel “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”
(Model, Miss Fortune)
VR: You mention on your profile that you want to learn to make hats because it is a lost art, is dressing up and looking your best a lost art as well? We specifically are thinking of old movie stars and how even when they are in their “casual wear” it is always gorgeous and fabulous, do you think we as a society have lost that ability to look and dress like that?

NB: I absolutely feel dressing up and taking care of your appearance it is a lost art. I myself have totally lost it with everyday life as a mom and a business woman! But when I do, I feel amazing. One woman who comes to mind, classic casual, but looked amazing was Lucille Ball. Granted, she was on TV and had her “primping” professionally done but her everyday wear she had was spot on. She didn’t look like she was completely “caked” together.  A woman can overkill with accessories as with make-up you need to know your boundaries.
(Photo Courtesy of Nina Burton, Vintage Box 1947)
VR: Can you tell us a little more about your artistic aesthetic? What materials do you love to work with, what materials are the most inspiring to you and why?
NB:   I would have to say my top favorite materials to work with would be, feathers, vintage jewelry, textiles and veiling. The most inspiring is feathers. I started with these and still love to use them. There are hair accessories where I feel feathers would be too much; you need to know when to say when! I am 100% hands-on with any materials. How organic the feathers or materials look is so important to me.
(Photo Courtesy of Nina Burton, Vintage Box 1947)

VR: How would you suggest women wear your hair accessories? Is there some tips or tricks?
NB: When designing a piece, I try to make it as functional as possible. I love it when you can have one hat or fascinator and wear it many different ways, it almost looks like a different piece. Tips! One of my biggest complaints about wearing anyone’s hair accessories “It always slips out,” or “My hair is too fine”. The most simple solution: BOBBY PINS!!!!Take a few high quality bobby pins and crisscross them in the location where you want to wear the piece. Use that as your anchor. From there, you can wear almost anything. Now, believe it or not, there are different qualities of bobby pins, the more expensive the better. 
VR: We like to give our readers some timeless accessories or dresses that make them feel confident, what is something you feel every woman should own or have to feel confident in?
NB: A great pair of heels. There is nothing worse than when you have spent hours on your outfit, hair and makeup and find you don’t have that amazing pair of shoes and hair accessory to match. 

 (Photo by Roy Varga)

VR: How would you describe your own sense of style? What do you like to wear the most and why?

 NB: Being honest, I am a full time mom and business owner so it is all the comfy basics. Love the jeans, sheer tops, cami and dressy sandals and basic hair flower. But when I go to functions I have my vintage style outfits and an abundant amount of custom hats and fascinators.

VR: Lastly, the photos that you use to showcase your work are gorgeous, do you take those photos yourself? Is there a reason why you choose to display your work like that?

NB: The photography I take is about 50/50. I have some quick timelines and don’t like to procrastinate for long. I have worked with some amazing photographers such as Shannon Brooke, Miss Missy Photography, Jenna Kraczek Photography, and many more. I am always looking to update my equipment to take better photos myself, so that way I have quick access for my web pages, online store etc. However  I much prefer to work with a creative photographer that can bring my designs to life. 

If you haven’t fallen in love with Nina Barton like we have, then you must be crazy! Nina is original and ahead of the trends, her attention to detail is mesmerizing in all that she creates. We love the work that she has done and what she will be creating in the future. Please check her out at her own sites and see everything she has to offer. You can find her at,, or purchase from her Etsy store at


One Response to “Meet the Designer: Nina Barton”

  1. Anonymous September 5, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    Great interview Nina!!!

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