The British Hat Guild is the new national association of professional milliners, established in Spring 2019 as a way of exchanging ideas and promoting our unique heritage. We aim to provide guidance and support to future milliners, and to share our news with people who are as fascinated as we are by hats and hat-making.
Our story began in a London pub in December 2017, with a group of milliners brought together by Carole Denford, founder of trade publication The Hat Magazine. An idea that Carole had been nurturing for some time was to re-instate a national association that would reflect the millinery industry in the 21st century.
Throughout 2018, she curated this group of founder members, selecting those she felt brought something highly individual to the world of millinery. Meetings were held, tasks assigned, and common aims and aspirations gradually took shape, the latter finally becoming formalised in our Constitution.
Currently formed of 33 founder members from across the UK, the Guild plans to expand, and will invite applications from other professional milliners, as well as from allied trades and crafts.
We also have four honorary members, selected for their dedication to the education of generations of milliners and hat-makers.
The British Hat Guild seeks to encourage and promote the following ideas:
to recognise the excellence and quality of British millinery
to distinguish the extraordinary sophistication of its members’ work
to acknowledge the authenticity of our millinery tradition
to celebrate the individuality and inventiveness of its members
to encourage and support the learning and skills of millinery
to share our knowledge and be leaders in our field
the british hat guild Directors
above, from left: Harvy Santos (Treasurer), Carole Denford (Secretary), Stephen Jones (Chairman), Rachel Skinner, Judy Bentinck
our honorary members
Our four honorary members have been selected for their dedication to the education of generations of milliners, a reflection of the respect and esteem held by the founding members for these four women: