Local Milliner Making Her Mark. Get to Know Rosa Isela.

Local Milliner Making Her Mark. Get to Know Rosa Isela.

In a small studio located in an upscale high rise in northern San Antonio, TX is an artist who is keeping an old tradition alive. Rosa Isela is a Milliner. She is a part of a unique group of designers that designs and manufactures hats and custom headpieces. Using an old world technique full of European hat blocks and water vapor, the artistry this designer creates has us falling in love with millinery work.  Her designs are full of whimsical beauty, desirable edge, and fascinating wonder. Read on to learn more about this artist.

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SLTV: Who is Rosa Isela and what does a hat symbolize to you?

RI: I am a Mexican designer from San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco and have resided in San Antonio Texas since 2008. I am a mother, wife, sister, daughter, cousin, and a niece.

I believe a hat and a headpiece is a reflection of each individual person. A reflection of their mood. It’s like a crown that says everything.

SLTV: How long ago did you found your company and what inspired you to become a milliner?

RI: After studying fashion design I continued to search for a creative outlet. Clothing design didn’t provide enough of an outlet for me so I was thinking of how I could do more. One day I had an idea and that was back in January of 2016. With that idea I began to study the basics of millinery and fell in love with the techniques. After learning, there was no stopping my imagination. The ideas were pouring out and it was second nature to me.

I’ve always liked designing things. I’ve designed flower arrangements, clothes, shoes, purses, etc. but the art of millinery design, it’s been everything to me in one piece of work. I don’t truly understand how I became a Milliner. There is no previous experience or family history. It just happened. I like to think God put it in my heart and now my hands can’t stop. It has evolved into a passion of mine. If I could, I would work on my designs all day every day. I simply love what I do. It’s my addiction and I’m completely obsessed with it.


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SLTV: What makes your millinery brand so unique? Do you have a trademark?

RI: Yes, I have a trademark. My brand is unique because it’s 100% my imagination. I’ve always been bad at following the rules perhaps that’s why fashion design didn’t work out. All my designs are dreamt up in my mind without any filters or guidelines and I then do what I can to make the design a reality. All of my pieces are made entirely by hand using a very ancient European technique. This way of artistry makes every piece exclusive. There are no two identical pieces, they can be similar but never the same.

SLTV: How does the design process happen? Is a hat’s design dictated by a person’s character?

RI: I never have a pattern so the design process always comes to me in different ways. When designing for a specific person I get inspiration from the persons outfit, the type of event they’re attending, the seasons, and physical structure of the individual. The more information I can get from the person the better. It’s an anything goes kind of design process. The ideas come from everywhere, sometimes from different fabrics that are used and since I love shoes sometimes the ideas even comes from the shoes.

SLTV: What goes into the process of styling a hat and when should we wear them? Does a person carry off a hat or a hat carry off a person?

RI: Yes, rules do exist. There are some rules for day and some rules for night. There’s an etiquette that involves styles, colors, and whether you should wear a hat on the right side or left side. However, we make our moments special. It’s our moment. Hats shouldn’t be saved for special occasions. I believe that every day that we are alive is a special occasion and we ought to celebrate it.  I also really love being a woman. We should celebrate being women because it’s the best and we can enjoy these kind of fashionable details. When selecting a headpiece the person who is wearing the headpiece must feel the “click” because the piece will do the talking for you. Feeling the chemistry will make you feel the most beautiful when you wear it.

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SLTV: What is next in your career as a milliner?        

RI: I have a lots of things on my mind for the future. I feel like I’m walking when really all I want is to fly! Of the many projects that I have the one that is closest to fruition is a cap collection.

When meeting with Isela we were happy to witness her having received her patent for the upcoming cap project. Stay tuned for more on this maker, something tells us we’ll being seeing a lot more of her work. Follow Rosa Isela on Instagram, @RosaIselaCouture.

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Crystal Martinez
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A lover of vintage, Crystal is known for her unparalleled curation, styling, and buying power of 20's, 30's, 40's and other vintage decades. A current resident of San Antonio, Texas, Crystal enjoys offering her skills to private clientele and has been a freelance fashion contributor for Style Lush TV for several years. She  believes fashion serves the soul and can take you on a journey. Whether it's a creative feeling from the past or an example of self expression in the present, fashion is transcendent.