FASHION

The 12 Best Famous Bespoke Hat Shops and Milliners for Women 2022

best bespoke hat shops and world famous milliners for women in New York, London, Paris and more

It’s hat season! No, not wool fedoras and ski hats and beanies. The season for ornate, whimsical, structured, romantic millinery – for spectacular special occasion and race day hats. A hat for Easter, and spring and summer weddings. Something brilliant for the Kentucky Derby, Ascot, and the Central Park Conservancy Hat Lunch in New York. Plus garden parties, graduations, outdoor concerts and more. But where to find a chic chapeau that will signal confidence and creativity – not kookiness? Our correspondent Jillian Tangen has curated a list of 12 of the best bespoke hat shops and world famous milliners for women in New York, London, Paris and more. Here’s where to find the perfect special occasion hat for you this spring 2022.

the bespoke hat shops and famous milliners to know when you’re in search of a fabulous hat

With Easter, the triple crown and wedding season fast-approaching, the hunt for the perfect hat, fascinator or headpiece might soon be at the top of your shopping list. If not, maybe it should be. No other fashion accessory has the ability to transform a look quite like a hat does. Not to mention in this Instagram and Tik Tok world, hats and hair accessories are having a major moment right now. So there’s no better time to consider leveling up your accessory game.

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Doubting whether hats are a Thing? Dear reader, a fashion authority no less than designer at Chanel-owned Maison Michel, Priscilla Royer noted: “The hat is a new means of expression. In a way, it is the new tattoo.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the best milliners in the world are centered in and around London. The Royal Family keeps them very busy, as does Ascot (where you’re allowed into certain areas unless you’re wearing a hat that meets rigid specifications). But there are some other fantastic milliners to be found elsewhere too including New York, Paris and even Ukraine.

From the celebrity-approved to the world’s oldest hat shop, here are the 12 world renowned milliners to visit for your next special occasion hat.

12 best Bespoke Hat Shops and Famous Milliners

1. philip treacy

Philip Treacy has been creating striking architectural and feathered designs since 1990. He’s the go-to for many in the fashion industry. His client list includes Lady Gaga, Madonna and Sarah Jessica Parker. He’s also designed hats for royal occasions, including the fascinator (or “pretzel hat”) worn by Princess Beatrice in 2011. Among his most famous shapes? The Sweeping Upturn (£295).

world-renowned milliners luxury hats

BUY NOW – £295.

2. stephen jones

London-based Stephen Jones has designed hats for some of the best designers in the industry – from Vivienne Westwood and Claude Montana through to his current work with Thom Browne and Dior. He notes: “Christian Dior, who started out as a milliner, did not see the hat as separate – it was part and parcel of an outfit.” He boasts an impressive roster of celebrity clients, including  Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Priyanka Chopra – plus members of the royal family. We can totally picture the Duchess of Sussex donning this Roquebrune Bow-trim Layered-tulle Hat ($699) this spring.

world-renowned milliners luxury hats

BUY NOW – $699.

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3. laura cathcart millinery

Royal wedding-approved, Laura Cathcart was the milliner of choice for several guests when Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank married. Cathcart trained at the London College of Fashion and built on her love of fabrics as an interior designer, before setting up her own boutique in 2011. Cathcart is most well known for her elegant bows like the one on this Dolly (£350) headpiece.

world-renowned milliners luxury hats

BUY NOW – £350.

4. rachel trevor morgan

Rachel Trevor Morgan established her company in 1990, and operates from a 17th-century atelier in St James’s. Holder of a Royal Warrant, she handmakes hats and fascinators for clients including the Queen. Most of her hats are made-to-measure, but sometimes styles can be purchased “off-the-peg” like this lavish Gold Silk Flower Headpiece (£1,115).

world-renowned milliners luxury hats

BUY NOW – £1,115.

5. ruslan baginskiy

From Bella Hadid and Kaia Gerber to Madonna, Ruslan Baginskiy has become the cult celebrity go-to hat label. Reimagining classic pieces including the fedora and boater into contemporary wardrobe staples, the Ukrainian milliner has made everyday headwear cool again like with this Embroidered Woven Sun Hat ($462).

world-renowned milliners luxury hats

BUY NOW – $462.

6. gigi burris

Before launching her namesake hat label, Gigi Burris cut her teeth under fine milliner Leah Chalfen. The Parsons School of Design graduate is devoted to preserving the traditional crafts of couture headwear designers, so each piece is handmade using age-old woodblocking techniques embellished with handcrafted flowers, feathers, alligator skins, ribbons and other playful details. Our pick for spring is the ultra feminine Jeanine Hat ($415) featuring a grosgrain tie that is sure to add a bit of drama and utility to your look.

Luxury hats by world-renowned milliners. Courtesy Photo.

BUY NOW – $415.

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7. lock & co.

Reportedly the world’s oldest hat shop, London’s Lock & Co. is renowned for inventing the bowler. The shop created hats for Lord Nelson, Winston Churchill and Prince Philip (it holds a Royal Warrant). Despite all the menswear, the shop also supplies elegant, feminine headgear including this floral Brita Pillbox (£925). It’s designed by an in-house milliner and handcrafted in the workshop above the store.

The best bespoke hat shops and world famous milliners for women in New York, London, and Paris to find special occassion luxury millinery.

The best bespoke hat shops and world famous milliners for women in New York, London, and Paris to find special occassion luxury millinery. Courtesy Photo.

BUY NOW – £925.

8. maison michel

One of Chanel’s highly skilled Métiers d’art ateliers, Maison Michel has been at the helm of French craftsmanship since 1936 when Auguste Michel opened the millinery in Paris. The brand’s distinctive creations employ masterful techniques of fabric stretching, draping turbans, and sewing straw, with the hats still handcrafted on some 3000 tillia wood blocks collected over the years. You can’t go wrong with a New Bonnie ($790) felt beret complete with a lace veil.

BUY NOW – $790.

9. formé millinery

Jenny Pfanenstiel is the Master Milliner and owner of Formé Millinery, based in the heart of horse country: Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to incorporating traditional millinery skills, Jenny has created a unique style of hats that are sculpted on her braid machine from the 1800’s. She sculpts the braid with her hands, creating “one-of-a-kind sculptures for the head” including this elegant Stream fascinator ($250). Her client list includes Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, and actress Regina Taylor.

The best bespoke hat shops and world famous milliners for women in New York, London, and Paris to find special occassion luxury millinery.

The best bespoke hat shops and world famous milliners for women in New York, London, and Paris to find special occassion luxury millinery. Courtesy Photo.

BUY NOW – $250.

10. emily-london

Founder and Creative Director Emily Baxendale is the driving force behind Emily – London, a luxury headwear label. Launched in 2014, the brand offers exclusive hats and specialized headpieces like this pintucked Patience Hatband (£675). Each piece is handmade by the studio millinery team in London. Bespoke service is available year-round.

The best bespoke hat shops and world famous milliners for women in New York, London, and Paris to find special occassion luxury millinery.

BUY NOW – £675.

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11. rachel black

At Rachel Black Millinery, you’ll find joyful confections perfect for any special occasion. “Born of the desire to provide women with no nonsense hats and headpieces,” Rachel Black launched her eponymous brand in early 2011. Her aim? Releasing the wearer’s ‘inner drama queen’ and appealing to their sense of fun. And with pieces like this Rosie Blows (£550) headband, we totally get it. Needless to say – we love all of these pieces.

BUY NOW – £550.

12. awon golding

Looking for a fresh, fun take on traditional millinery? Awon Golding worked as a fashion editor in Hong Kong before moving to London. There, she was an apprentice to celebrated milliner Edwina Ibbotson. Golding’s latest collection highlights her keen eye for bold color and new materials. Who wouldn’t adore wearing this statement making Oakley Wide-Brim Straw and Crin Fedora (£1095)?

The best bespoke hat shops and world famous milliners for women in New York, London, and Paris to find special occassion luxury millinery.

The best bespoke hat shops and world famous milliners for women in New York, London, and Paris to find special occassion luxury millinery. Courtesy Photo.

BUY NOW – £1095.

Famous Bespoke Hat Shops and Best Milliners for Women

That’s our take on some of the best bespoke hat shops and world famous milliners for women in New York, London, and Paris. All excellent places to find special occassion luxury millinery, and some of the best sources in the world for a chic chapeau. What’s your favorite? And where are you going to wear it?

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Jillian Tangen is the Head of Research at Dandelion Chandelier and a former Senior Research Analyst at McKinsey & Co and Analyst at Shearman & Sterling. She is an avid fan of Nordic design, having owned an independent lifestyle store and sales agency focused on emerging Scandinavian design. Jillian lives in New York and is married with three young children. She loves cross-country skiing, the New York Rangers, reading, travel and discovering new brands.

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