November 29, 2010

Zzouzi Hats giveaway!

Hello lovelies! 

I hope you guys have been doing well. I can't believe Thanksgiving has come and gone and I am already putting up Christmas decorations!

My great friend Lisa is hosting a giveaway of one of my handmade pieces! All you have to do to enter is reply on her blog with your favorite hat/accessory design of mine!

Please feel free to follow Zzouzi Hats via Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin, or here on Blogspot!

Christmas is almost here and I thought a nice winter-y piece would be a great to accessorize with!

Feather Starburst

Actual (please note the button change)

Enter the contest here

Good luck loves!

November 9, 2010

Google Alert: Zzouzi Hats

I got a nice little surprise when I set up my Google alert for my millinery business. Other than the large amount of Twitter posts I make a day, it alerted me about a lovely little blog called INFLUENCE.

Influence had a great article about how hats were making a come back, with photos from various runway shows from NYFW 2010, and a few from local designers. I was surprised to see that one of my images had made it up there, along with millinery friend Tonya Gross.

 "Hats are finally making a comeback. Not just any old winter beanies and baseball hats, but artistic creations with intricate flowers, feathers, and sculptural shapes. Slowly but surely, they crept up with fedoras a few seasons ago and now, thanks to Sarah Jessica Parker’s show stopping hats, Aretha Franklin’s bow hat at the Inauguration, and the outrageous creations worn by Lady Gaga- they have become an outlet for self expression once again.  Fabulous hats are not just for the Kentucky Derby and any trend-setter can feel confident in a one of a kind creation." - Influence

Our hats off to you Influence.

Have you started incorporating hats into what you wear normally? I find so many more people wearing such interesting pieces when I go out - vintage, handmade, or even store bought. I'm glad to see a millinery come-back! 

Sorry about the lack of posts folks- I've just been so busy actually making hats and things, that I haven't had time to sit down and write. I have a new project I'm working on- and I will let you know as soon as it launches, although it may be some time from now.

Things still to come in the future:

  • Flat Patterned Hats
  • Vintage Inspirations
  • Zzouzi Hats Logo 

    Anything you'd like to see from me? Let me know! I am totally open to suggestions!

    October 26, 2010

    James Prinz Shoot

    This shots were done in May of 2010 of a few of my hats that were exhibited in the Curiouser and Curiouser gallery show. The first hat was based off of the New York Chrysler building with the different tiers and studs. I some how never got a good picture of this hat, so I'm really thankful it was part of this shoot, especially since it just sold at Mr. and Mrs. Digs!

    Based off of the Chrysler Building in NYC - black felt and studs - 

    Based off of the Eiffel Tower with the lace "iron" arches - grey stiffened silk and black lace.

    Twig Hat - Hand painted live leaves and twigs on black sinamay.

    I am currently working on a commission for Halloween night. It's based on Casablanca's
    Ingrid Bergman. 
    I will take pictures once it is done. What a long process!

    Also if you have not done so yet, check out my new blog Contemporary Vintage! It's about every day life, fashion, and the struggles of becoming an adult (including starting my own little label - Zzouzi Hats!)

    October 23, 2010

    And the Hattiest of them all...

    My old teacher Eia finally received the great photographs from spring semester of the Raymond Hudd Millinery Award Judging. What a nerve racking day! We had no idea what was in store. It was after our gallery show, so we had the stress of the show finished but then the nerves of the judging.

    We were asked to tell them what year we were in, the techniques that we used to create our pieces and our inspiration.

    Dean Lisa Wainwright trying on my hat that she ended up wearing to graduation

    The recipients of the dean's hat award - Myself and Sophia Khan

    The Dean trying on the Golden Twig hat.

    Explaining to the judges my technique of silkscreen printing on hats

    Advanced Headwear Class

    Advanced Headwear class with the judges and our teacher, Eia.

    The Award Winners and the Judges

    The six award recipients

    October 20, 2010

    Millinery Animal Use: Fur trimmed hat

    Milliners have never been very good friends with animals. We used to use beaver to make the wool hoods but due to the popularity of hats in the 14th century beavers were being over used. Using beavers to make felt lasted until the 18th century because it was the preferred material. By the 1600s Europe had used an extraordinary supply of their own beavers and many began to look to America for the supply--and thus, exporting hats and wool began.

    Independent hat makers were whittled down because of the big boom of factories, and to meet the factory supply, imports had to be made from further and further away. Needless to say, fashion has had a huge impact on the fur trade and the use of living creature as accessories should not even be an option anymore. We've made great advances in technology, different ways to replicate fur, different ways to get the texture and feel of faux  fur, and even better ways of keeping ourselves warm. Now that we have the knowledge of different insulation solutions, why do we need to use animals?

    I began thinking about this when someone tried on this recent hat and asked me if the fur I used was real...and she seemed aghast when I told her it was, and she immediately put the hat down. On that note, my own practice: I do use Rabbit felt because it is the only wool I feel comfortable enough working in for my hats. The rabbits are shaved and only their underbelly is used for the wool. Beaver is a lot more expensive due to the great decline in that population. The fur that is used in my hats is strictly vintage.

    It makes me very happy to see a lot of fashion is moving in the way of the FAUX. Elle magazine, after receiving a very upsetting letter about it from a reader, has printed a page dedicated to fur fashions 7 out of 10 of them are faux!

    I am not a vegetarian, nor do I know if the beauty products I use are tested on animals, but I believe that I am working my way into finding out a better way to go about treating our furry friends the way they deserve to be treated...especially since I have a baby of my own.

    October 10, 2010

    Mr. and Mrs. Digz

    It's been a very busy weekend for Zzouzi Hats!

    We had the great opportunity to be one of the showcased designers at Mr. and Mrs. DIGZ, a great little boutique in Andersonville, as part of Andersonville's Art Weekend. This weekend is dedicated to showcasing artists and shops in Andersonville. You walk up and down clark st, drinking champagne, eating, and enjoy art work. What else could you ask for?

    They had various sorts of performences and music going throughout the evening. When I stopped into Mr. and Mrs. Digz I met a few lovely ladies who thought my hats were a hit! I am always so relived to hear that people (other than artists) like my hats! I ended up selling one which is wonderful, and now I have to make more for another event Mr. and Mrs. DIGZ is hosting!

    Fall 2010 Hat Display at Mr. and Mrs. DIGZ

    Well this looks like a very busy week ahead. On Wednesday my friend and I some how both landed tickets to see OPRAH! I am trying to figure out what hat to wear now. I might bring up a back up hat in case they tell me that my hat is too big. I hope it's a good episode.

    Anyway - I am so sorry for such a late update, but nothing has been happening in the "Hat World"...which is partly my fault. My sister was here to visit and I dedicated a week to spending time with her. Between that and working, I was wiped out. Anyway folks, I will try to do better... I am just wondering, what is the next step? Any suggestions? I think some advertising, and press is necessary. Any leads?

    September 29, 2010

    Fall Collection

    Well, after J. Slater and I diligently worked last night over dinner (which ended up giving me food poisoning hah) we FINALLY got all the pictures. We had this unbelievable bout of bad luck last night when none of the pictures would burn on to a disk, an external hard drive, or anything else for that matter. Anyway, it was all worth it for these amazing pictures! All of these hats will be available for sale through and via email at

    I would like to thank J. Slater, Anna Gorman, Christina Dougherty, Cecca Morrone, Shannon Marks, and Lisa Burback for all their help getting this together.

    Fall 2010

    See more...

    September 24, 2010

    New website for Zzouzi Hats!

    My wonderful friend Amy has been working diligently on my new website and last night she finished it! I've been anxiously waiting to revile it to all of you - and now I finally can (well I did quite a bit last night on facebook too! hah)  I just want you all to see the unbelievable amount of detail she put into this site. She worked so hard and I am so happy with it.

    I did have a little panic attack midway through when I asked her if the site looked to rectangular *cough*theoatmeal*cough - but it is perfect. My friend Nami also wrote my mini bio for the site! (Aren't my friends wonderful?! ) I honestly could not have started this small business with out them - they are my photographers, designers, models, and best critics (not to mention customers!). So this post is dedicated to all of you who have helped me get Zzouzi Hats off the ground and on to someone's head (or browser - hah). Driving me from location to location - carting my hats - prodivding me with press and countless other things. I don't want to name names because I KNOW I will forget someone, and that would be terrible. I also really want to thank all of those who follow and comment on my blog, thank you for all of your support.

    Ahem - now that I've gotten all emotional, I want to geek out and show you all the wonderful details some of you may not have noticed on my new site!

    The font matches my business cards (which were made first)

        Amy took the time and DREW little pictures of my hats behind each banner

         She also made little social network top hats! 

    And with out further notice, I present to you 

    I hope you all love it as much as I do.

    September 20, 2010

    Photoshoot for the Fall Line

    Anna in a vintage inspired black felt hat
    bird cage netting, and a vintage broach.

    Saturday afternoon we had a studio book for the evening and we were ready to get on our way! We shot most of my fall collection that night and it was fantastic.  My models this time were Anna Gorman, Cecca Morrone, and Christina Dougherty and the photographer was Joshua Slater, we were going for a very commercial look this time around and after a grueling seven hours in the studio we were done. I think the pictures turned out great but they still need editing so  they wont be ready for another week, but here is a sneak peek of some of the pictures! Let me know what you guys think of this look! Again thank you to everyone who helped me this weekend! 

    Christina in a black felt hat. Printed scarf by Jes Stadler 

    Anna Gorman in a vintage inspired black felt hat 

    September 19, 2010

    Blog Feature

    Zzouzi Hats was featured on this lovely blog today! 5 More Minutes is Meghan McNally's lovely blog where she explores a variety of things from French women, to Brad Pitt in tweed. Her recent fascination has been hats (who can blame her?!) So go check it out, follow her, and let me know what you think!

    Also - Photoshoot pictures should be up in about a week! Weee!

    Anna Gorman being photographed by Joshua Slater

    September 17, 2010

    Do I wear hats?

    I really enjoyed this Target commercial. Maybe I'll do a tutorial on how to wear different hats properly. A lot of people think that they are not "Hat People" (whatever that is) - but they just have not found a hat right for them. The only people who aren't hat people are those with out heads...(All I can think of is Nearly Headless Nick).

    All you need is some time, different style hats, and some courage in order to find the right type of hat for you to pull off a hat! (And a hat pin if you live in a windy city -- aka Chicago)

    September 16, 2010

    Life without a computer

    Life with out a computer feels like no life at all. My hard drive crashed in the early days of September, marking my computers fourth birthday. I wake up in the morning, watch television, make breakfast, go for a run, clean a bit....then go to work, sleep and repeat. Okay, so it's not that bad, but thankfully my boyfriend found a great used computer for us to buy temporarily, so I can continue working on my Zzouzi Universe!

    Anyway, I am preparing for a photoshoot this weekend with a new photographer. I am going to be the stylist, and my friend Lisa donated some of her vintage clothes for the shoot. I am so excited to get my new stuff photographed and shown! I feel like nothing has been moving forward at all because things keep getting in the way! I am very frustrated with this. I am a very "go go go" person so waiting things out is, needless to say, painful.

    On a side note: I now have to relearn Mac hot keys.

    Anyway, the photographs here are some ideas that I am going to play with in the photoshoot. It is so difficult finding good pictures of fur and hats, believe it or not. If you guys have better luck, please share it!

    Also, any ideas on make-up?

    War time illustration

    This photograph has nothing to do with this post, but I just had to share it because of how beautiful she looks here:

    Marylin Monroe
    On that note, I will close off this post. Tomorrow is Local Lookbook's grand opening and I need to figure out what I'm going to wear! What hat?! What shoes?! Pants or Dress?! It's going to take hours.

    (Post dedicated to my old computer, R.I.P. big guy. You put up with a lot.) 

    September 3, 2010

    Local Lookbook in Chicago Social

    The store where my hats and headbands are sold, Local Lookbook, was featured in Chicago Social this month. They wrote about the popularity of the clothing designers as well as what a great community builder the store is. You can read the article here, on page 80.

    You can see my headbands, bottom center.

    In other news I'm working on getting some photoshoots set up and done so I can finally upload more images on the Sears website as well as have catalog images for my newer items. I have three photoshoots set up with a variety of different photographers who all have very different styles - this should be very interesting. :)

    By mid September I would like to have my fall collection done in order to put in stores and make available online. If you are interested in any fall headwear, or a specific style of hat, let me know! I'd be happy to make it for you. I am also still debating on what to do with a bright red felt body.

    (Photo from website Judith M Supplies) 

    I would love to get some feed back on what to make next!

    September 2, 2010

    What would you do to improve this blog?

    Hello all! I was just wondering if you had any feed back on the blog, what I can do to improve it, or just helpful criticism. If you like it the way it is-- just let me know and not a thing will change! I am primary using this blog to show new work and write about upcoming shows and sales, but I would be willing to add more content if you feel its necessary.




    What can I do to improve this blog?

    If something isn't addressed in the poll, please post what you think in the comments!

    I really appreciate all of your dedication to reading, and following it.


    September 1, 2010

    September Issue

    Well, the summer is officially over...and I don't have to go back to school. That is a very odd feeling. Meanwhile, I've been using my free time to create a fall collection with my hats. I also need to organize a photo shoot in order to photograph hats to sell on Sears and my website (the website is looking REALLY good...I just need it to be done now *coughamycough*)

    I redid one of my old hats, and I'm thinking to wear it to one of my friends upcoming shows.

    I'm still not sure about the shape or how its worn, but I'm still playing around with it. That's probably the best thing about working with straw, you can re-work it a lot.

    My kitten has no idea whats on my head

    As some of you know, I nannying in order to support my everyday life...and my art (hat supplies don't come cheap!). Well I've recently introduced the kids to Mary-Kate and Ashley movies. Talk about flash-back! Toys, video games, Mary-Kate and Ashley animated? But lets talk clothes; You never realize how bad some fashion items are until you look back on them ten years later.

    I wanted to focus in on the hats though. Though the hats weren't much better than the clothes people seemed to actually WEAR them! I suppose the age of Blossom helped.

    Well, this is the only photograph I found of them as kids wearing unique hats. If you do happen to relapse on your childhood, keep and eye out for hats...and those hideous shoes we all seemed to wear at that age.

    The hat habit for the Olsens' has not changed however. They are still rocking beautiful hats, whether it be to hide themselves from paparazzi or simply for fashion, they know how to wear them.

    August 20, 2010

    BelindaBilly Fashion Fridays Interview!

    Here is a snip it of the interview I had with designer Belindabilly on Thursday.

    What’s the best way to make an outfit unique? Accessories - which is the topic of today's Fashion Friday. Let’s start at the top with hats!

    Sarah Azzouzi, the proprietor behind Zzouzi Hats has been concocting creative headwear since she started studying in the fashion department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She focuses her energy on high end hat-making, but also creates dozens of dazzling hair clips, headbands, and fascinators for the more faint at heart. I sat down with the milliner on Thursday to learn more about her business and her designs. Here are some highlights from our conversation:

    BPC: So, what made you first decide to get into headwear?
    SA: While attending The School of the Art Institute of Chicago I took a variety of different Fashion classes, and I realized I liked sculptural hands on fashion, so it was suggested to me that I try a Millinery course. When I first took it, I was a bit unsure, but I fell in love with the process, and I've been doing it ever since. When I told my mom what I wanted to focus on a while later, she laughed because she always used to put me in hats and I hated them; I guess that's just irony for you.

    You can read more of the interview at Belinda's blog.

    Also remember to sign up for the Zzouzi Giveaway! 

    August 18, 2010

    Give away!

    Zzouzi Hats is hosting a give away!

    All you have to do to enter is to follow Zzouzi Hats on Facebook and share the contest with others, then comment informing me that you did!

    Once you do, you're entered! It's as simple as that! The deadline to enter is until next Wednesday - so you have an entire week, and I will announce the winner on Friday the 27th.

    The prize is this lovely grey satin headband with glass beading detailing.

    Good Luck <3


    Last Saturday my friend Lisa invited me to tag along in a photoshoot that she was doing for her new small business, Archives Chicago. Our model was Jamie Lynn Henderson, a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a contestant Bravo's TV show Work of Art.

    The heat index was over 100 degrees and Jamie was such a good sport about everything! She even changed in Lisa's car. I know I was dying.

    A lot of people don't realise the true potential in vintage clothing, raise the hem, add some new accessories, and modern pumps and you've got yourself a trendy look!

    Here are some photos from the shoot - dresses available on sale on the Archives' website and the headbands are available through this blog.