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Public eye: Mallory Williams, 24

New York street interviews: Stories from the sidewalk as told by real New Yorkers about their lives in the city that never sleeps.

Photograph: Zenith Richards

Central Park

Your name is so Baby-Sitters Club. [Laughs] That's how I'm most familiar with it, but most people mention Family Ties, which is where my parents got it.

Even more '80s-tastic! Michael J. Fox's sister, huh? Oh yes. I hear she was a hot little thing.

Cool parents. What are you up to? Not too much. My boyfriend and I just got back from vacation. We don't even know what day it is. Sunday? Saturday?

Friday, actually. Where did you go? I studied Spanish in Santiago de Compostela for a month, then we went to a wedding in Italy and then Barcelona. We were gallivanting.

Did you do the Camino de Santiago? Like, a kilometer's worth. [Laughs] The bigger goal was learning Spanish. It's not easy, being a product of the American school system. But you know, I try.

What do you do? I'm in my last year at FIT. I'm finishing a hat certificate to become a milliner.

Hats—hot industry. Oh man, you know it. The royal wedding really helped in terms of bringing the hat back.

Do you make those kinds of hats? I do. As a form of art, it's super fun. I know they're extravagant and silly, but why not? When you see someone coming down the street wearing one of those, you may roll your eyes, but you're gonna talk about it later.

Any advice for people who are uncomfortable with having something ridiculous perched on their head? People are always saying, "I can't pull that off." But the truth is, if you're wearing it, you're pulling it off. You might feel silly, but you're still doing it.

Like the guy who insisted on wearing a colander on his head in his driver's license photo. Oh man, really? I'm going to go look that up.

Do you wear hats? I don't, really.

Is that hypocrisy? Probably. I'm also the designer that can't dress myself. I know what I'd like to see on others, but I'm never certain of how I want to look. I'm always ready to change it up.

Maybe you need to plan for midday wardrobe changes. [Laughs] Nah, that's too high maintenance.

More from Mallory

"Today, I stopped by Wall Street to check out the protest. I hope it can at least be an example that people can have a voice."

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