Not only has our girl, Rosie Olivia (rosieoliviamillinery.com) made incredible headpieces for royalty including Pippa Middleton and Zara Phillips, but she’s just literally crowned the arrival of the new Ford Fiesta. We caught up with her to talk inspiration, celebrity clients and how you, too, can become a hat wearer!
HOC: Hi Rosie! So lovely to meet you, let’s start at the beginning; how did you get into being a milliner?
RO: I have always loved accessories, especially hair accessories, whether it’s a floppy winter beany hat or a little glitzy hair clip; I always have something in my hair. When I was younger, I used to go to functions with my mum where all the ladies would wear hats. I used to sit there and admire them all and think, the lady opposite me, would look so much better if those feathers on her hat where in another colour or she wore a hat without a brim!
When I was was in University I was driving myself mad about what I could do for my final collection for my degree show. Throwing ideas back and forth, I realized that I wanted to work in the creative industry so this was my chance! I have always loved hats and love the fact that a hat finishes off an outfit. It’s a great accessory and when one is put on your head it gives you confidence and makes you feel great. I took an internship at Philip Treacy and then created a collection of headwear for my degree show. From then, I knew that I wanted to focus on a career in millinery.
HOC: We bet its an awesome feeling making someone feel confident through your creativity! Who are your favourite clients to work with?
RO: I make hats to sell via retailers and I also make bespoke hats for individual clients which is my favourite thing to do as every hat is different.
I meet lots of great ladies, who have different outfits and styles; some that love to wear hats and some that have never worn one before. I love my job as I get to meet lots of different characters, style them with a great hat and make them feel fabulous! There isn’t one favourite person in particular that I have made a hat for, as they are all fabulous people, but making hats for Zara Tindall was really fun and a challenge as it’s always last minute! When you images in the press it makes the manic rush of making the hats seem worth it!
HOC: We wish more people wore hats; they really transform an outfit! If someone wanted to start wearing hats, where on earth would they start?
RO: I would say book an appointment to see me at my showroom! I am brutally honest but I will help you find the right hat shape for you. I always want my clients to look their best as it’s my brand name on the line. My hats are not for everyone but if you have help putting the hats on and look at different styles and get some honest advice you may just find the hat for you and you may become a hat wearer!
I want to see people wearing more hats casually. I feel that a lot of people will only wear a hat to a special occasion but actually it is just an accessory which can be used throughout the year. Also, I have clients who really love the fact that my hats are handmade in the UK from start to finish and I think it’s important to have a home grown brand.
HOC: You’ve even got cars into wearing crowns! Tell us about your collaboration crown with Ford Fiesta’s latest release?
RO: I wanted to create a crown that bought to life the details and attributes of the new Ford Fiesta. I designed a crown with a quilted leather headband and royal blue crown jewels and used an actual gear stick as the centre piece along with seat belt arches. It was really important to me that the crown reflected the Fiesta whilst following my millinery techniques. It was really fun to experiment with new materials – I’ve certainly never used leather and metal on a hat before! I then worked with a talented team of designers and 3D scanners and carpenters to scale up my creation to Fiesta size. The giant crown weighs in at 90kg, features 200 hand painted crystals and uses 800m of seat belts.
HOC: Finally, we love an inspirational ‘Girl Boss’ here at House of Coco; can you share a recent ‘Girl Boss’ moment you’ve experienced?
RO: There are a few! I was interviewed on Sky News once about a Facebook for a campaign called ‘She Means Business’ . Being positioned as a woman who young girls could look up to was a very cool moment! I was also just recently on the judging panel at Newmarket Races July festival for the Style Awards and of course, I have made hats for a royalty and now a crown for Ford!
To find our more about Rosie Olivia Millinery head over to www.rosieoliviamillinery.com . The newest Ford Fiesta, the nation’s favourite car, is available now!