Cheltenham Festival-winning milliner

International recognition for Cheltenham Festival-winning milliner

Cheltenham Festival-winning milliner

One of Yorkshire’s up and coming bespoke milliners, Suzanne Gill, has joined the ranks of the headwear industry’s best and brightest by winning a 2012 Hatty Award.

Suzanne, who works from her home-based studio in Ampleforth, North Yorkshire, received the award from the US-based sponsoring magazine Hat Life, in recognition of the impact she has made since graduating from the Leeds College of Art two years ago.

In her first year of business, one of Suzanne’s inspired hats, made from pheasant feathers (pictured), won ‘Best Hat’ at the Cheltenham Festival beating 300 other hopefuls and attracting national media attention.

Suzanne’s bespoke headwear graced the catwalk of the Great Yorkshire Show last year, to be followed by an invitation from the Royal Horticultural Society to take part in this year’s fashion show at the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park, alongside other established milliners including Fortnum & Mason’s exclusive milliner, Adrian Philip Howard and Vivien Sheriff.

Also this year, Suzanne received an invitation to collaborate with Cheltenham Racecourse and, to produce a first-ever ‘Little Black Book of Festival Fashion’, which provided suggestions as to what ladies should wear at one of the biggest festivals in the horseracing calendar.

Suzanne’s recent involvement in a Reader Event with regional lifestyle magazine, Yorkshire Life, at the prestigious Black Swan Hotel in Helmsley, also helped to cement her success this year, which has seen demand for her bespoke headwear increase.

Suzanne, who draws her inspiration from the Yorkshire moors and coastline, said she was thrilled to have been singled out as a winner. Examples of her headwear, some of which feature pleats to signify the waves, and others that use iridescent beads to reflect water droplets, particularly impressed the judges.

According to Denise Keller, Publisher of Hat Life, there were more entrants than ever, many of them being outstanding talents reflecting the strong state of the hat industry globally. Each of the winners is profiled and included in a 420-page full-colour Hat Life 2012 book chronicling a wide range of information about the headwear industry including sources, colour and trend tips, cutting-edge designs and designers.

You can read Suzanne’s Millinery Musings blog regularly at

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