What does a milliner do? Fratelli Borgioli have a talk with Fiona Bennett, a famous milliner from Germany. Discover more about the berliner hat designer.
Fiona Bennett is not only the most successful, but also the most extraordinary milliner in Germany. Her hats have been seen on the cover of Vogue and others major fashion magazines. Many celebrities around the world wear Fiona Bennett’s hats.
Her visions know no boundaries: she creates costumes for theatre and cinema as well as sculptures and designs rooms. She is a successful entrepreneur and a member of the “International Women’s Forum“. The history of her city is reflected in Fiona Bennett’s unwavering journey.
She actually runs her own paradise hat store. The large windows that characterize her workshop represent an invitation: everyone can discover what is behind her wonderful creations. Dissimilar techniques, unusual materials, she creates her own patterns and fabrics. Every collection is a journey into unknown territory for Fiona Bennett.
Discover with us Fiona’s story as a milliner and as an artist, her sense of beauty and will of expression in her artworks.
Questions for fiona bennett
- Hi Fiona! It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to interview the most successful milliner in Germany. Could you please tell us more about your career and your artistic background?
- Hats are indeed the protagonist of your activity. How and when did you decide to specialize in hat design?
- Your hats are being worn by many celebrities, and adorned the cover of magazines of the likes of Vogue. What’s the secret behind your success?
- Berlin plays an important role in your life. How does this city influence your works?
- What’s the process of designing a new hat?
- Which materials do you most like for your works?
- What are the future plans for your activity?
1. Hi Fiona! It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to interview the most successful milliner in Germany. Could you please tell us more about your career and your artistic background?
The pleasure to tell you more is mine. After completing my apprenticeship as a milliner, I founded my label over 30 years ago in the divided West Berlin: from the beginning, I was inspired by a vision to transform the traditional milliner craft.
The hat was such a special accessory that could tell a lot. I’ve revised the traditional techniques and combined them with contemporary themes for each collection. In the 80s / 90s I started to focus on the topic of hats applied to fashion performances with musicians and actors.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, I was one of the first labels to open my shop in the then exciting Berlin Mitte between exciting galleries. Right from the start, my clientele was in the creative scene with a lot of celebrities.
Our label quickly received international attention and the hat salon became a Berlin hotspot for those interested in design. In 2012 the label moved to a larger store and was enriched by another managing director: Hans Böhme took care of customers and business from then on.
We gave the craft a stage in a large shop window studio. Here you can see how the craft works to this day. As a designer, I also work as an interior designer for special rooms (Powder Room from the Wintergarten Variete ‘and a Wellness House Sein) Artwork (Nosedive) Book (From the curling of feathers).
2. Hats are indeed the protagonist of your activity. How and when did you decide to specialize in hat design?
My dream was to become a sculptor. As a young woman at the end of the eighties, I fell in love with the milliner’s craft and saw great creative potential in the HUT object. From then on I was addicted to the job, and the passion for it never stopped. A fitting quote: Tradition is the passing on of the fire, not the worship of the ashes.
3. Your hats are being worn by many celebrities, and adorned the cover of magazines of the likes of Vogue. What’s the secret behind your success?
With every design I see pictures in front of me, I visually create a world that I like. At the same time, I observe and analyze exactly why something is clothing and why not, where are we now and what do people currently need. How a hat brings out the beautiful sides of a person without becoming a fictional character and looking out of place. The hat should connect to the wearer. I also like to experiment and keep developing new techniques. My hats are not nostalgic. They work here and now. If you look back, it appears with a wink.
4. Berlin plays an important role in your life. How does this city influence your works?
Berlin is like me: always on the move. You can’t stop here. A lot was possible here. The rents were affordable and there was plenty of space and a wonderfully creative environment. Berlin has always attracted free spirits. Exciting collaborations have developed here, such as designing the first costumes for Rammstein. With my partner Hans Böhme to design 250m toilet rooms for the most famous variety in the city. Costumes for a cabaret play or a large sculpture for an exhibition. Writing a book.
5. What’s the process of designing a new hat?
In my pocket there is always a notebook in which I record every flash of thoughts. There are always three groups. Thematically, I can start from a function or a structure, a color, a feeling.
6. Which materials do you most like for your works?
The base is usually straw or felt. There is a large selection of surface structures here. I like wild silk and wool. I like something sublime where movement takes place. A material has to inspire.
7. What are the future plans for your activity?
It would be time to cooperate with others. I want to develop a second line and work with good artisans and productions in Italy.
We want to thank Fiona Bennett for this interview. We had the opportunity to discover the world of one of the most successful milliner in Germany.
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Discover more beautiful stories of other artists and artisans. Enjoy the reading!