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Yasmin Zorlu
Yasmin ZorluMilliner
Sculptural Headwear for Earthlings

How did you become interested in millinery?

I always wanted to study fashion design because I loved beauty and fashion, but I ended up doing a diploma in retail business management. While studying I started designing clothes for the students and bags to make extra cash for myself. After completing my studies I decided not to continue with clothes as I did not enjoy sewing. I realized that I love working with my hands doing accessories but didn’t know exactly what.

In my church there are 3 wedding occasions every year, when more than 200 couples get married in one occasion. It’s beautiful and everyone dresses up, so I always dress up for these occasions too. I would design myself an outfit with a beautiful hat (in our church every woman must cover the head). People loved the way I dressed and they would ask where I got my hat from (as they loved it), so that’s when I realized the need for making hats.

Where and how did you learn millinery?

After realizing the need for making hats, I started doing research and visited some of South African best milliners, such as Isabell and Unita, for mentorship.

How long have you been a milliner? Where else did you work?

I have been designing hats since 2008. I’ve already appeared in the media, having been featured in South Africa’s leading newspapers, such as Sowetan, City Press, Beeld, etc.

Where do you get inspiration for your designs?

I get inspiration from different things, colors, fabrics or my creative design.

What has been your most enjoyable commission?

Making hats for South African high profile celebrities such as Uyanda Mbuli and Sophie Ndaba. And making hats for the Durban July, one of South Africa’s horse raising events.

How would you describe your style of hats?

Stylish, glamourous, elegant, flair, exotic, theatrical, yet fascinating.

Who do you make hats for? Churchgoers? Brides? Everyday wear?

I make hats for brides and bridesmaids, individuals who attend weddings, churchgoers, people attending funerals, parliament functions and horse racing events.

What materials and techniques do you favour?

Flowers, fabrics, felt and sinamay.

Do you have any other interests, hobbies?

Yes, I have interest in mining and transportation business. I believe in the business principle that says “don’t put your eggs in one basket”. A business person in fashion industry must be balanced.

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