When we speak of luxury fashion, we often think of gorgeous and dazzling gowns, elegant handbags and classy trendy shoes, but in most occasions, dressing up in beautiful gowns doesn’t mean the “look” is complete, unless of course, a stunning headpiece made by Anilu Oms, a lovely designer residing in Miami, Florida, accents the outfit.
Headpieces have been a tradition of the Royal Family and many well-known celebrities, as a matter of fact, one name that comes to mind is Philip Treacy, one of England’s headpiece designer, however, meeting Anilu Oms has left me thinking that perhaps Mr Treacy has, indeed, something to worry about.
Anilu, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Anilu Oms Fashion Millinery is a manifestation of my background as a designer. My headpieces are eclectic and avant-garde. I use many natural fibers, leaves, seeds, organza and feathers; and sometimes I include embroidery with beads, synthetic materials and three branches. My work is very connected with nature.
What influences your work?
My training as a Graphic Designer and Costume Designer greatly influenced my work. I love working with my hands, and I treat my headpieces like sculptures. To me, the women who wears my headpieces is refine, and elegant, and loves and appreciates art.
What is your greatest career accomplishment so far?
I’ve presented my headpieces in exotic and fashionable events such as Tokyo Fashion Week, China Shanghai Expo, Chicago and Houston Fashion Week, and the various seasons of fashion Week in New York since 2007.
Where are you from? Did your upbringing influence your design aethetic?
I was born in Havana, Cuba, and island with bright sunlight and very defined colors. My upbringing and education strongly influenced me as a designer. I grew up listening to classic music and being taken to the theater for plays and concerts. My mother was always dressed-up waiting for my father to arrive from abroad as he was an international pilot. I remember her pearls, her high heel shoes, and her Diorisimo perfume. My grandmother also had great ability with her hands and was a very accomplished embroiderer. She studied painting at a very well-known Art Academy in Cuba. In her house you could find all kinds of treasures like the collection of fashionable hats from the 30’s and 40’s which I discovered in mint condition when I was a child. I could never imagined that both my mother and grandmother would be the inspiration for the first efforts in my work as a Custom Designer, and that the theatrical magic of those elegant hats would come to define my style. The cinema magazines and the moving pictures of Hollywood’s Golden Era were the daily diet at home. All of that background influenced my future.
Which designers do you find inspirational?
I love Philip Treacy, his career trajectory. His work is quite an inspiration. He is responsible for almost all collections of Alexander McQueen, and even though his Aesthetics has nothing to do with mine, is always inspiring to see what he does.
Did you always known that you wanted to become a designer? How did you make the choice to design headpieces?
I have always leaned towards the arts and design. I took classes in architecture, interior design and graphic design. When I graduated from graphic design, my husband asked me to be the costume designer for the music video he was directing. This experience opened the doors of the television, film and theater. But my career as a milliner is another story. My daughter, Fabiola Arias, the young fashion designer based in NY, asked me to help her in a fashion show when she was still a student at Parsons; and I thought it would be a good idea to create headpieces to complement the beautiful dresses that she designs, so I fill out my bag with all sort of tools and materials, and I flew to New York. Since then, I make the headpieces for all of Fabiloa’s beautiful Collections.
What plans do you have for your company for the future?
In the future, I would like to expand into other markets, and hopefully someday would love to see our hats on the heads of royalty!