Photo Courtesy Aimee Blaut
Interview

GIGI BURRIS

04.08.13

Gigi Burris is a New York based milliner, who counts major celebrities such as Rihanna, Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga as fans. The Parsons’ alum fell in love with the old-word craft of hat making after studying abroad in Paris. She returned to New York to apprentice under couture milliner Leah Chalfen and eventually founded her own namesake millinery in 2010. Burris’ intricate headpieces have drawn the attention of Elle, Harpers Bazaar, W, Interview and Vogue Italia.

Interview

Why did you decide to become a milliner?

I fell in love with the craft of millinery. It is an art that is slowly diminishing, and I take pride in being a part of the preservation. It feels very romantic. The materials, the process, and the joy when you place the perfect hat on your head all contributed to my passion of millinery.

How many times a year do you present a new collection?

I present a full range along with the fashion calendar for Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter seasons. It is shown during Paris Fashion Week with Valery Demure, in addition to appointments here in the city. There is a standing Bridal range that gets interjected with new styles, as well as special editions throughout the year. Right now, we have a Kentucky Derby special style for purchase on the website.

Are private clients a huge part of your business?

Absolutely. Working directly with the ladies (and occasional men) who love hats is one of my favorite things about having the brand. My private clients are so enthusiastic about hats, and I am able to use special materials and stretch myself to make anything they dream up.

Why do you think there is such a dearth of ladylike dressing these days?

We are living in such a fast-paced world and properly dressing one’s self from head to toe takes both time and commitment. That is why the women that still do take the time to dress themselves as ladies truly get noticed.

How would you describe your personal style? Do you always include a headpiece?

I try to include a headpiece as much as possible, for both fashion and functions sake! I am always traipsing around the garment center, so I am often pretty casual during the daytime, so in the evenings, I make more of an effort to dress–and it’s mostly in black!

Do you have other design aspirations?

In the present, I want to flush out my creativity and continue learning about my craft of millinery. In the future, I certainly hope to expand into different categories under the same voice.

Who are you dying to collaborate with?

I would LOVE to collaborate with the House of Schiaparelli. I think her irreverent spirit and penchant for luxury–in addition to her love of hats– would pair for a chic collab.