philadelphia hat maker
Zoya Egan, originally a native of Nalchik, the capital city of the Kabardino-Balkar Republic in Russia emigrated to the United States twenty years ago. Zoya first settled in New Jersey, where she pursued a college degree in Computer Science and worked in Corporate America for a few years. While in New Jersey, she met and married her husband Jim Egan.

Zoya and her husband Jim moved to Pennsylvania in 2005, and settled in Wayne. Zoya and Jim still reside in Wayne today with their two poodles.

Fashion is in Zoya’s blood as her mother was for many years a private seamstress of great renown in her native Russia. Zoya’s mother taught her the craft of sewing and design from the time she was a little girl and also instilled in Zoya a passion for elegant fashion.

A few years ago, frustrated with not finding hats and fascinators of a quality and design she liked, Zoya started experimenting with the art of millinery. She was encouraged by existing Philadelphia area milliners to enter the hat contest at Radnor Hunt in 2014 where she captured first place in 2014 and in 2015.

Shortly thereafter, Zoya Egan Millinery was born.

Zoya’s millinery creations are all made by her personally, and by hand. They are beautiful, almost lyrical, and elegant and very wearable. Zoya credits old Hollywood glamour queens like Audrey Hepburn and Joan Crawford as style influencers, as well as the Art Nouveau period of art and fashion (think of artists like Gustav Klimt in addition to the fashions of the period.) Zoya also custom fits her creations to the lady who will be wearing one of them, and consults with each customer regarding their event attire. Zoya Egan Millinery compliments the woman and her attire equally.

Find Zoya and her business on Facebook at Zoya Egan Millinery and on Instagram @hatsbyzoya

Details Make Perfection

Leonardo da Vinci was quoted as saying “Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail.” That is so true, and sometimes I think even more so when it comes to the perfect hat, fascinator, or headpiece.

Have you ever looked at a hat on someone’s head and wondered why they chose that kind of trimming, instead of thinking “how amazingly beautiful?”

I have.  Hats complete and complement an ensemble.  Hats should be lovely and original, perfect to the minute detail. Not jarring and cartoonish.  

When I completed my millinery classes in London, I went to Holland.

I took a silk flowers class with Lana Semenova in Naarden, a town 20 miles from Amsterdam.  Lana is part of Zijdenbloem is a small young creative bureau dealing with production of silk flowers, hats and fascinators.  

They accept people very selectively to their classes only a few times a year. I learned to use different materials, from silk to sinamey and abaca silk. I also learned her signature coloring and hand painting techniques.

Hats need to be trimmed properly and so often they are not.  With me, you now have the benefit of this extra expertise and training.  

After all if I was going to learn the hat making techniques of Dillon Wallwork, I wanted to come home to my customers with the floral details that create the show stoppers you all crave!

London Calling: Hat Lessons With Dillon Wallwork 

Recently I was fortunate to be able to study with Dillon Wallwork who came up in the international millinery industry under Phillip 

Sommerville, a Royal Hats Supplier to the British Royal Family.

Because I strive to be the best, I flew to London to learn from the master. With over 30 years in the industry, Dillon Wallwork has created bespoke millinery for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the late Diana Princess of Wales as well as for celebrity clients. He has collaborated with leading designers as well.

Dillon Wallwork has also provided one-off hat and headpieces for Royal Ascot, so I could not think of a 

better millinery instructor!  It was a whirlwind few days and I loved every second!

From Dillon, I learned his famous satin bows, trimming techniques, sizing the hats, blocking the hat from the scratch, working with various materials. Every day was 10 hours of intensive training.

You see, it’s not just the right hat.  It is the smallest of details in addition to knowing your clients.  It’s matching a beautiful millinery creation to not only the right woman, but the right outfit.  It is never just a hat. It’s a fashion responsibility. The hat must fit the woman, not the woman fit the hat.

Working with Dillon was a truly amazing experience which I will be delighted to pass through to my lovely clientele in work product. Thanks to Dillon, I have fresh eyes and am now truly inspired to create even more one of a kind fabulously fashionable hats and fascinators.