William Chambers (milliner)
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William Chambers (born 1979) is a leading British milliner who creates handmade hats and headpieces that are stocked in the country’s top department stores. He is a former recipient of the British Fashion Council and Stephen Jones’ Headonism collective and is one of the six members of the Ascot Style Collective, alongside Jones and Philip Treacy, amongst others.
Brought up in North Lanarkshire, Chambers gained a First Class Hons degree in Textile Design at the Scottish College of Textiles before studying millinery at Glasgow's Metropolitan University. He worked for luxury haberdashery VV Rouleaux before setting up William Chambers Millinery in 2008 after winning the VICE UK Creative 30 competition. He has won Accessory Designer of the Year three times at the Scottish Fashion Awards.
He exhibits his collections twice a year at London Fashion Week,and his hats are stocked in Harrods, Fenwick and Fortnum & Mason in London, Samuel’s Hats New York and on LoveHats.com. He opened his own hat shop in Glasgow city centre in 2014.
Celebrities who have worn his hats include Kelis, Suzi Perry, Joan Jett, Ana Matronic (Scissor Sisters), Roisin Murphy, Livia Firth, Anna Della Russo and Judy Murray, who commissioned a Chambers hat for her son Andy’s wedding - photos of which appeared in every UK newspaper the next day.
His hats have appeared in Vogue, Elle, Evening Standard, Style.com, Tatler, New York Post, The Telegraph, The Sun, Metro, Grazia, Red, Glamour, Conde Nast Brides, Wallpaper, Travel & Leisure, Nylon, The Herald, Harpers Bazaar, Paper, Sunday Herald and The Scotsman, and he features in the hardback book Couture Hats.
Chambers seeks to modernise millinery with a fresh look at how we dress the head today. Chambers’ taste for the avant-garde mixed with his knowledge of the retail sector results in designs that are at once both exquisite and wearable. He mixes traditional materials such as felt and sinamay with contemporary materials like latex, plastic and metallic leather, creating headwear that is both progressive and desirable. He takes his inspiration from many sources, but the biggest influence on his designs is his own flower-filled back garden: he is as keen a gardener as he is a milliner.