Julie B. Schworm, milliner, costume designer, painter and sculptor, launched Savage Millinery in December of 2012 after three years as an assistant to a prominent milliner in New York City. Less than a year after branching out on her own, Julie’s hats have been featured in several magazines and she has been selected to show and sell her wares in various arts festivals and fashion shows in Western New York.
As an art student at the renowned Pratt Art Institute in the late 1990s, Julie’s first love was illustration. She spent her undergraduate years drawing and painting, earning a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts. While at Pratt she developed a method of illustration using fabric. It proved to be the beginning of her future in fashion.
After graduation, Julie spent several years in the fashion industry in New York City where she learned about fashion design and continued to garner knowledge about working with fabrics from cotton to felt to tweed.
In 2003, she moved cross country to study costume design at California Institute of the Arts. It is here where she began to dabble in millinery, designing hats as costume pieces.
With her Master’s of Fine Arts, Julie returned to New York City and began translating her costume design skills into ready-to-wear hat design. It was here that she fell in love with millinery and learned everything she could about the art. After three years as a milliner’s assistant, she was ready to bring her own design sensibilities to the craft.
With a few vintage hat blocks in hand, Julie relocated to Buffalo, NY in 2012 and incorporated her own company.
Today, Julie designs and sells her hats from her home studio in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst. Her inspirations begin with the classic shapes and styles of hats popular in the 1920s and 30s, adding a modern chic. She draws on her love of menswear and punk to create her “vintage style with an edge” designs, often combining feminine and masculine elements in each hat.
Her work has been featured in Belle Armoire Magazine (Summer 2013), Buffalo Spree (January 2014) Artvoice (August 2014) and Buffalo Magazine (September 2014).