Paloma Faith wearing Nerida

An interview with Nerida Fraiman

Published in Designers.

Nerida Fraiman is a London accessories brand that has been selling millinery for 18 years, the exquisite designs are a unique brand of luxury because they’re both classy and innovative. With a product perfect for dressing those attending races and special occasions, Nerida is a brand on many a fashion followers’ lips and we sat down with the woman herself to discover the mind and magic behind this sought after brand.

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- Where did your desire to create fashion and millinery, originate?

My mother graduated from St Martins in the swinging sixties and had a women’s knitwear label on the cutting edge of fashion, so i grew up with the industry. Even as a small child I remember; making up colour cards, sitting with my mother at the knitters tried to get the samples right, the buzz of buyers meetings, shows, photographers and vogue front covers. I loved this but wanted to do something different, hats were my passion and my rebellion!

- Once you were in the industry, you worked for Philip Treacy – what was the most important thing you learned from him?

To REALLY use my eyes, to look at the line of the hat and how it looks on.

- How has this knowledge and use of your eyes, made your brand stand out against other milliners?

We focus on making every one of our clients look the best that she can

- How about for ready to wear collections, who’s in your mind when you are designing?

Anyone who might want to walk through the door to buy a hat! My clients range from Princesses, celebrities and Presidents’ daughters, seasoned hat wearers to the hat shy,to ladies who cover their hair from the middle east to Africa – our hats are for everyone.

- For these hats that aren’t bespoke, how long does the process take and who else is involved?

For me the design process always begins with a hunt for different materials, then I like to play with the materials – I try to push them and evolve new techniques of working with them. From there I experiment with form. Only at the point that my samples are totally pinned do I hand them over to be stitched

- Who is the one person that’s worn your head-wear that you’re most proud of, and who would you still like to adorn your hats?

A while ago I had a client who had been receiving treatment for cancer and was really worried about her up coming function. We fitted her with a hat that looked amazing with the outfit that she had chosen and she looked incredibly stylish. She left with an air of confidence and happiness that made me really proud.

- With all this millinery knowledge and experience. How do your creations differ now, compared to when you first began making hats?

When i first set up, prior to my MA at the RCA i pioneered the fascinator concept and at the time I was the only one in what was a really avant garde innovative space. As is the case with fashion there were many people who followed on & so I have been innovating my whole career. My collection spans fascinators, occasion-wear, turbans and luxury casual felts.

- What materials are you most excited to work with in the future?

Sometimes the simplest materials can yield the most exciting results

- How about the Nerida Fraiman in the future, where will the brand go over the next 5 years?

We will continue to innovate in the ready to wear fashion space to create fresh new styles for ladies to look the best that they can. 

- We think it’s the perfect time for that! Do you agree that the public’s attitude towards millinery is changing?

Yes. Thanks in part to the Duchess of Cambridge , we are seeing a real renewed enthusiasm for head wear.

- Lastly, we have a personal question – what’s the favourite thing that you like to wear on your own head?

Currently a navy criss cross siname turban with a brooch from my own A|W collection. It is so light and comfortable and no one need know of my bad hair days, though as days are getting colder my attention is turning to an incredibly soft felt trilby…