Rachelle Marie Willnus, Designer
You’ve been invited to an event - maybe a charity benefit or a fashion show with girlfriends. Wouldn’t it be nice to add a little oomph to your standard go-to look? Something that brightens the mood, an accessory that infuses more flair than a new bracelet or earrings.
Or what if you’re getting married? Imagine your bridal party dressed to complement you and your groom, the overall effect beautiful and artistic, as much a part of the desired ambience as every other painstakingly chosen detail.
Rachelle Marie Willnus is a magician. Her magic wand is a deft artist’s touch backed with engineering technique and a creative streak a mile long. Derby Hats by Rachelle offers hats, fascinators and clothing with pleasing aesthetic flair to add style and beauty to any event. The master's prepared manufacturing designer morphed her skills at Ford Motor Company into a career as a clothing and fascinator designer as a way to spend more time with her two daughters. Designing hats since 2009, Rachelle finds the endeavor provides her a fulfilling creative outlet, and the fashion world is benefitting.
Derby Hats by Rachelle is widely recognized in the Metro Detroit area and beyond, with her work appearing on ABC television, Fox 2 News, WDIV local 4, in the Detroit News, Modern Model Magazine, The Metro You, SOLIS New York and more. Her hats have been featured as StyleLine Magazine Editor’s choice for headwear three years in a row and her bridal line, Marie Rachelle, has been featured as trendsetter three years running as well. Rachelle’s work is soon to be seen in the September 2015 issue of KEEL fashion magazine in a several page layout. Derby Hats by Rachelle was the winner of the Head-to-Head Hat Competition at Michigan Fash Fest 2012 and named Best of the Best for 2012.
In an exciting recent development, Derby Hats by Rachelle is the selected designer to create crowns for the upcoming Lucas Miles film, CROWNING JULES (by a Disney writer). The film stars local actresses Elizabeth and Jacqueline Labadie.
Each creation in Derby Hats by Rachelle is designed, sewn and hand-crafted by the artist. The fascinators are gorgeous, unique, whimsical … and as individual as the vast variety of wearers. The photos below provide a much better vision of the work than any words ever could.
Rachelle Marie Willnus believes in good design – whether it is for an engineer training program or to look great during a special event. Her chapeaus require a strong knowledge of design, shape and form. “As with engineering design, hat designers must be able to assess fit of product, such as a client’s face and head shape in relation to hat size and function,” Willnus says. “It’s about finding the best design to compliment the shape of the face and head size of the wearer. Any woman can wear a hat or fascinator.” Check her out below and prove her right!
Find Rachelle Marie Willnus:
Photo credits (1): Attire: Rachelle Marie Willnus. Photographer: Jennifer Alder. Model: Lia Morse. Makeup: Stacey Manuel. Hair: Jennifer Nelson. Styling: Hoda Salameh.
Photo credits (2): Headwear: Rachelle Marie Willnus. Photography, skirt, and jewelry: Janna Coumoundouros. Styling: Marv Neal. Makeup: Stacey Manuel. Model: Joan Lutz.
Photo credits (3): URBAN DECAY Series, Detroit; Headwear: Rachelle Marie Willnus. Photographer: Janna Coumoundouros.