I’m a real sucker for a good topper so I was instantly drawn to the booth at (capsule) filled with gorgeous hats. Miliner Albertus Q. Swanepoel was incredibly kind and spoke with me about his extensive experience in fashion and in millinery. Born and raised in South Africa, Swanepoel began his career in fashion with a bang. In 1987 he received the Coty Award for best designer in the country for his Quartus Manna label based out of Johannesburg. After relocating to New York City he worked with well known milliners Janine Galimard, Lola, and Lynne Mackay, constructing hats for high fashion as well as major theatrical productions, operas, and ballets. In 2004 Swanepoel began collaborating with important New York designers (Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, Diane von Furstenberg, Carolina Herrara, and Peter Som to name a few) for their runway shows during fashion week and has since become the “go to” milliner in the New York fashion world. His namesake label sells inventory to major retailers such as Barneys, Paul Smith, Odin, and Louis Boston and has received press in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, and The New York Times. It was a great opportunity to see his F/W 2011 collection in person at the women’s (capsule) trade show and to meet someone who has been in the industry for so long and is so passionate about his craft. Each piece is still designed and hand blocked by Swanepoel and feature delicate and unique details that will certainly turn heads when you wear yours down the street.