Today, I would like to introduce you to the artist Julie and her Millinery brand “Savage Millinery”. Her original designs, so colorful, modern and feminine are just gorgeous! I’m in love with this retro vintage style. I discovered Savage Millinery on Etsy where Julie opened a beautiful shop. Living in the state of NY, she finds inspiration in all the things around her. I let you discover this artist and her creations.
Hi Julie! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what “SavageMillinery” is all about?
My husband and I recently moved to Buffalo, NY after living in Brooklyn for many years. We got tired of the hustle and bustle of the city as well as the ever increasing rent. We could afford to buy a house here and I was able to start my company. I feel like I can breath again after leaving the city and it has really helped foster my creativity. Savage Millinery is really true to who I am as a designer and reflects the type of fashion I am attracted to. I strive to make things that women of all ages would be able to and want to wear.
When did you become interested in creating hats ? Where did your creative journey begin?
I kind of fell into making hats. I answered an ad for an apprenticeship under a milliner in New York City and ended up being her assistant for three years. I had the sewing skills and she taught me everything else. It was my background in costume design that landed me the job. When I left and moved out of the city starting my own line wasn’t something I immediately planned on. Shortly after we moved I met with a men’s hat designer in Rochester, NY (where I grew up) whose work I really admired. I was hoping to assist him and brought in samples of my own work. I had the skill to start my own line. That and the encouragement of friends and family gave me the push that I needed.
Where does your inspiration come from? Can you please describe your creative process?
My inspiration comes from everywhere. I love fashion and I like to pull from different genres. I am really drawn to punk, menswear and vintage shapes. I have a bulletin board in my studio that I pin images to that represent where I want my line to go. I try to draw sketches before I begin creating hats but usually the design will change during the process. Sometimes my inspiration comes from a fabric, or trim or a color of unblocked felt. I will look at fabric and think “oh that will make a great hat”. It can also be as simple as finding a really great button and building the hat around that.
A song that could represent your work?
Ooh as a music lover this is a great question but also really hard! I can’t decide on one song but as a whole I think the band Camera Obscura could represent my work. They are so eclectic. I love that you can hear their influences but they have their own unique sound.
Apart from creating things, what do you do? What kind of artist are you?
When I am not making hats I earn money as a seamstress and sometimes as a Costume Designer. I’ve worked in various shops making costumes and doing alterations. Lately I have been doing alterations for a wedding shop. It is not glamorous but it helps pay the bills! I also paint and sculpt and I have been learning taxidermy.
If you had to use three words to describe yourself, what would it be?
ambitious, passionate, hard-working
What do you think motivates others to buy handmade?
I think people who buy handmade are looking for something more unique-a product that you can’t find everywhere. With fashion especially, I think people will spend a little extra to have something special. There are also those who want to support independent and/or local artists
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
Teleportation! I want to be transported different places in the blink of an eye.
The Eldorado for your brand/shop/creations? What do you dream of?
Eventually, I would love to expand my company and be able to make a living with Savage Millinery (as well as having time to focus on my other artwork). I hope to some day have a studio that is not in my house. I love working from home but it does have it’s distractions.
Do you have any upcoming news to share with the readers about your business such as upcoming events, new items, sales, etc.?
I do! Savage Millinery will be in the summer issue of Belle Armoire magazine and I will be selling hats at the Clothesline Art Festival in Rochester, NY this September.
One last thing you would like to say to your readers?
Savage is my Mother’s maiden name. People always want to know where the name comes from.
Thank you so much Julie for sharing your world with us!
To visit her shop on ETSY :
Follow her on twitter! @savagemillinery
She also has another shop on Etsy, for repurposed clothing : https://www.etsy.com/shop/savagefrocks
Interview : July 2013