Swanepoel and cat at home.
When milliner Albertus Swanepoel was 7 years old in Pretoria, South Africa, he found a doll’s head, stuck a pencil where its neck had been, and draped it with fabric. Later, in his early 20s, he sold his beloved piano so he could afford fashion school.
Now, almost 30 years later, the CFDA winner’s elegant-yet-modern hats are featured in runway shows like Proenza Schouler, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Peter Som, Carolina Herrera, DVF, and Narciso Rodriguez. And he still makes every single cloche, fedora, turban, and boater in his Garment District studio. To see the charming Swanepoel in action, watch our video.