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How Humble Is Your Headpiece

Speaking of being humble…

With spring racing in the air and the country focused on racing fashion and millinery, my mind has been wandering through the memories I cherish of last year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival.  

I attended Flemington Racecourse that week with a media pass gaining access to the Birdcage (no marquees included.) This was just sweet enough for me to meet and photograph style icons like Brad Goreski, Amanda Shadforth and Margaret Zsang (all lovely and personable souls taking the time to chat.)

As a milliner myself and former FOTF devotee, most milliners I knew by face and name and during my lurking and shoulder rubbing *rub rub*, was delighted to meet one such milliner who is quite notorious, holding a strong presence on the Australian millinery stage.

Our conversation was short with the crux of it going a little something like this:

Me: Racing Style Nation is a free online milliner directory. It’s a great way to get your brand and business promoted amongst the right clientele.  Although, you probably don’t need any more exposure do you?

Milliner: No. I don’t. I’m doing quite well.

And with that she turned and walked away.


Disappointing was an understatement.  

Success is subjective, but for me, success is only achieved when you can be humble regarding your position of prosperity.

There is so much that can be said for milliners who don’t appreciate their success or don't convey to the public, media or their customers that it is actually THE CLIENT who has attributed greatly to their success in this saturated market.

Such a well positioned milliner in Australia, would have the knowledge and contacts to know the millinery industry is crazy competitive with knock offs and copyright claims being thrown around left, right and centre.  With such a challenge set to maintain a trajectory that will translate your hobby to a lasting career, this particular milliner’s own shortfalls to maintain an original aesthetic were completely lost on them.  She appeared to arrogantly lavish in her notoriety among celebrities, models and fashion bloggers.

This short conversation, whilst amid so many other amazing experiences I felt that week, has really stuck with me.  

I can’t help but conclude the arrogance was a shield to their fear that a milliner directory existed.  Thus the thought that clients and racegoers in particular, had a more broadened menu when choosing millinery.

My purpose for sharing this is not to discredit or disrespect, but more so, to educate consumers that a lot can be said for supporting an artisan who appreciates their success and legitimately knows that fame can be fleeting.  

Now that there are so many milliners trading the country over, I urge you to meet yours and wear your headpiece or hat with the satisfaction knowing that the person who made it loves what they do, and your new creation was made by a realist with humble hands.  

Not just a headpiece with a label that rings familiar to you.