You know how it seems that new designers suddenly sprout out of nowhere? In actuality, most creatives work around the clock for years before they make it into the spotlight. Our Ones to Watch series highlights some of the freshest talent you should know about right now.
This week, we sat down with milliner, Gigi Burris, who with her dark aesthetic and brilliant headbands has become an editor and stylist favorite seemingly overnight. We stopped by her studio to talk inspiration, how to embark on wearing a hat and what it’s like being a young entrepreneur. Attending Parsons School for Design as an undergad, Gigi fell in love with hat design while studying abroad in Paris. “I loved the hat shops that were vintage feeling and feathers.” Following her highly successful senior thesis project, she — and her hats — were in high demand. “The business started quite naturally after my senior thesis, people were really into the hats, so I was really blessed to make hats for some really wonderful people,” Burris reflects.
Boasting a client roster that any designer, new or established would envy, she continues to make an impression on some of the most influential style icons today. “I’ve made hats for Lady Gaga, Angelina Jolie and Rihanna have also worn them,”Burris reveals while reclining at her work station, which is nothing short of neatly organized creative chaos. A mood board is a bit sparse due to the transition of seasons, but she shares one photo from an editorial that’s mysterious and ephemeral simultaneously.
Gigi acknowledges, however, that remaining purely avant-garde isn’t the end all, be all and continues to push herself to answer to a more commercial demand for her product as well. “I think there’s a negative connotation for the word commercial, especially for designers who really get off on making weird stuff, which is myself – I love dark, editorial, exotic. So I’m really stretching myself to make commercial pieces. But you know, something like one of my feathered headbands is commercial. Commercialism is finding who your customer is and then commercializing on them.”
With that in mind, she divulges on just who’d she love to see one of her creations on, “Kate Middleton is the epitome of glamor and such a style icon. Definitely Daphne [Guinness] – it’s kind of made for her.”
We can say for one that we’re sure we’ll be seeing these trailblazers among many others very soon. Read on to learn more about her creative process and tricks of the trade.