In 2006, Viktoria Novak began designing headwear in her bedroom in Canberra. Fast forward 12 years, and her millinery label is going from strength to strength.
Ms Novak was pursuing a career in interior design, before making the decision to study fashion design. She says her foray into designing headwear came by “pure accident”.
“It was my intent to become a costume designer, however during my studies [in my] Bachelor of Fashion Design, I was placed into a millinery class by pure luck, simply because I forgot to select my own elective.
“It turns out that fate had its way and therefore I was able to find the gift that I have which is, creating headpieces, crowns for women and men to enjoy.”
Relocating to Sydney in 2012, Ms Novak says the “turning point” for her career was in 2013 when her gold brass leaf crown – a signature Viktoria Novak style – took off.
“In 2015, I took my first international runway collection to New York Fashion Week. This created Australian millinery history, where I was the first ever milliner to hold a solo runway show purely focusing on millinery,” she says.
Ms Novak’s designs have also been worn by a range of Australian and international celebrities, including the likes of Jen Hawkins and Jesinta Franklin. She has collaborated with a variety of fashion brands and was asked to create the crowns for the CW Network’s drama Reign, as well as having her designs featured in a range of publications.
“I had the support of Australian and international celebrities that embraced my works. They genuinely loved my creations, where they supported and endorsed my brand, which enabled me to showcase my talent to a wide audience. This essentially led to an overwhelming demand for my creations in the fashion world.”
Ms Novak credits her success in the fashion world to “sheer passion, dedication, determination and stubbornness to succeed”. She still single-handedly designs and creates every one of the headpieces in her Sydney studio.
“The business started on my bedroom floor as a hobby working quietly in my own little world in the corner, to now running my own company in Sydney. Operating your own small business is a 24/7 job, however I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
You can catch Viktoria Novak’s guest appearance and stage model workshop at the Canberra Wedding Fair on Sunday 24 February from 10am at the Australian Institute of Sport, Bruce.