Professor Zorlu was born in Germany and raised in the wonderlands of Iceland and Japan, where she developed a fascination for all things modern and minimal. Her artist mother took her to art museums and galleries all over the world, which led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in Art History. However, in her last year of college in Michigan, she took a theatrical hat design course and became hooked by the sculptural possibilities of the powerful accessory of the HAT. After graduation, she moved to New York City to take more hat making classes at FIT, also earning another degree in Accessory Design. She’s been designing and making headwear for 20 years, with a brief stint as a corporate footwear designer on the West Coast.
Professor Zurlu teaches: HSX 104 Hang on to Your Hat!
Hats are hot, and now they’re everywhere! Musicians and celebrities know the power of the hat. From royal weddings to award shows, hats are stealing the spotlight! In this class you’ll learn how to make a 1920′s style cloche or fedora hat that perfectly fits you by using the exciting art of ‘Freeform Blocking’. Using steam and your fingers, manipulate a pre-formed woven straw cone on a standard wooden hat form, hand-stitch it, and then trim the hat with your own handmade flowers, cockades or bows from ribbon. All hand-stitching: no sewing machine knowledge required.
My teaching philosophy involves showing my students traditional techniques in hatmaking and inspiring them to find new materials and ways of putting shapes together which are fresh and exciting. Observing the world around them with a keen eye, drawing upon nature, architecture or even people’s hairstyles will help develop their design sensibility.
On Precollege Programs:
Pre-college programs at FIT are a wonderful introduction to the fashion industry and to the resources of the school: its instructors, culture, facilities, and resources like the museum and library. FIT has the only certified Millinery Certificate program in the US; the classes I’m teaching are a fun introduction to millinery (hat making and design).
Advice for Students:
Wear your own creations and invent your own style! People will love to get inspired by you.
- Assisted Tracy Watts, James Coviello, Rod Keenan, Patricia Underwood, and 2 people in the theatrical headwear industry.
- Commissioned by Erykah Badu, the R & B singer
- Was part of a cooperative clothing boutique in the lower East Side of Manhattan.
- Designed unique patterned fabric hats for Goorin Brothers which were mass produced and sold in the US, Europe and Japan.
- Recently, loaned out hats to Lady Gaga for one of her videos and also had my hats shot for a Vogue Italia editorial.
Publications: Oyster Magazine (from Australia), WWD, Oprah Magazine, Paper Magazine, Accessories Magazine, The Hat Magazine