What is millinery?
Millinery is the art of designing, blocking and trimming head wear using the finest materials. The word millinery was derived from the city of Milan, known for producing beautiful materials used in hat making. Tonya Gross Millinery uses traditional hat making techniques to produce modern couture and ready-to-wear head wear.
From hedge fund to head wear.
Tonya’s love for hats started at a young age. Finding hats in antique shops, deconstructing them and remaking them with beautiful trims, was her creative outlet and a way develop her personal style. At 35, and many years into the financial services industry, Tonya had her “career epiphany”. Tonya left the hedge fund industry (and financial security) with a goal to lead a more creative life that would utilize her background in finance and love of design and accessories to launch her own business. Tonya studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to hone her skills and design aesthetic while exploring materials, sculpture, and hand sewing. Tonya won a Raymond Hudd Millinery Award for Best Collection from the School’s fashion department.
Tonya Gross produces seasonal, bridal and Kentucky Derby couture and ready-to-wear hat collections. She also collaborates with clients to produce one-of-a-kind head wear and has produced hats for the cast of the Real Housewives of New Jersey and designer Pamella Roland for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York. Tonya was awarded Hat Life Publishing’s “Hatty Award” for her contributions to millinery in 2008.
In 2007, Tonya Gross Millinery was launched in East Ukrainian Village, Chicago, IL, with goals to: build a sustainable and profitable business, make a substantial contribution to the resurgence of hat manufacturing in the US, and to create new jobs in the fledgling Chicago fashion industry through an MIT or “milliner in training” program.
“One of the many joys of creating head wear is helping others exude confidence and identify his or her unique personal style. When someone tells me, ‘I don’t look good in hats,’ or ‘my head is too small or too big,’ I look at this as a problem to solve!” says Tonya. “I aim to evoke confidence and uniqueness with every quality hand-finished hat that will endure the test of time and trends. I like the idea of pushing a traditional industry like millinery forward, using old techniques to make new, modern accessories.”
Shop Tonya Gross Millinery on Zappos.com!