FRONT ROW 2013 Designer Francis Fifi Millinery


Tell us a little about yourself ...
 "I originally trained as a jeweller and achieved a BA Hons in jewellery design. For my final show I made hat pins and buttons which accompanied a set of handmade hats. I was instantly offered a job working for a wonderful milliner learning traditional hat making techniques. While working I happened to pass a skip in central London and noticed it briming full of old hat blocks. I kicked off my heels and got in! After I stopped a black cab, I filled it with most of the contents of the skip and began to make my own hats and within a week a had make my first sale and I went on to run three markets stalls, a shop and design studio.
Trading under the name Bevali Read Hats, I sold hats all over the world supplying shops such as Bergdorf Goodman in NYC. The business was a success and I won London's Young Business Woman of the Year and the UK's Design for Enterprise Award.

Last year I found myself wanting to dust off my hat blocks and begin to make hats once again and decided to give my business a new name, Francis Fifi.
This is my second millinery collection for FRONT ROW. I have spent the last year selling at craft fairs, art galleries and festivals as well as making special one off commissions. The new collection is inspired by gods and goddess’s of the disco dance floor, it’s a monster mix up of edgy vintage, repro & recycled glamour. Oh la la!"

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