Behind the scenes at the Rosie Olivia studio

An interview with Rosie Olivia

Published in Designers.

Rosie Olivia is the fun-loving northern based milliner who has created a range of hat styles within her collections from turbans to topped caps, ensuring her range has something for every customer. Her signature style is a joyful aesthetic in the form of delicate trimmings and unusual fabrics while still remaining fashion relevant by adjusting her designs to the colours of the season and while now featuring in publications from The Sunday Times to Harpers Bazaar – we at Lovehat’s get the inside to the working of Rosie Olivia as her AW13 collection becomes available to the public.

Before beginning the design of each new collection, Rosie takes the bi-annual creative task on with a strong head but admits to us it’s slightly daunting, “I always feel like the task ahead is scary, that I have to make the collection better than the previous one! but i love this wonderful challenge of designing new creations. But variety is the spice of life, i’ll start sketches and sampling, be fun and creative and then somehow it begins to fall in to place and then something new is born – like my AW13!”

When did millinery capture your imagination for the first time?

I was in University, driving my self 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, intrigued as to how simply a hat can change a whole outfit. Its a great accessory and when one is put on your head its just give 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, it was hats and will always love hats.

How is the typical day of Rosie Olivia, running your own brand?

I run the brand solo and really every day is different; some-days I am creating hats, others I will be tweeting and marketing my creations, today i was blocking hats with the steamer and my favourite is when I see clients who have enjoyed or will be soon wearing my designs. It is a bit manic at Rosie Olivia but I love that aspect.

 

Since becoming inspired under Philip Treacy and developing her own brand, Rosie has gone from success to more success, “one of my biggest achievements was being able to see my collection on display while walking down Bond Street and then Pippa Middleton and Beatrice York are some of my most well known clients.” Yet Rosie is still waiting for Kate Middleton to make that order, citing her as potentially the perfect customer.

 

You had help launching your brand from the Princes Trust – do you still work with the Trust in anyway or hope to? 

I would not be where I am now if it wasn’t for the Princess Trust. I am a creative and now I would say I am a business woman thanks to the trust! I completed the four day Enterprise course and received a financial launch pad. I value their advice and they made me question every aspect of my business before putting it in to action and I still regularly meet up with my mentor who is great and guides me in the right direction.

Is there a way you would like to see millinery or people’s approach to millinery change or evolve? 

YES! 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 hand made in the UK from start to finish and I think its important to have a home grown brand.

Where is the next step for the Rosie Olivia brand? 

Soon there will be a showroom for buyers, press and private clients, bringing together Rosie Olivia in one new space. I also look forward to have the brand Rosie Olivia become even more established.

A look from Rosie Olivia's AW13 collection

 Rosie Olivia’s collection is now live, click here to see what’s currently available!