Milliner Isabelle Hoffmann, alias Zabo of Zabo Hats.

Isabelle Hoffmann trained in millinery at the Musée du Chapeau à Chazelles-sur-Lyon. She sold her hats at Geneva’s outdoor markets before opening Zabo in 1995.

She sculpts her creations in straw, linen, cotton, leather, boiled wool and faux fur using a wood head form and four sewing machines, one almost a century old.

It’s work that requires mastery over volume and some geometric calculations…but sometimes she creates instinctively, “by eye”.

Isabelle favors creating hats that serve the everyday, that are playful and practical. Ideally, she believes that a hat should express the character of the wearer.

She recently won the Prêt-à-Porter prize in a competition at the Musée du Chapeau.

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