Meet: Camilla King
8th July 2021 by Felicity
We chat to London based milliner Camilla King all things hats, weddings, royalty and the inspiration for her next collection...
1. Camilla, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to sit down and chat to us. How are you doing?
Thank you so much for asking me! I’m very well thank you.
2. Like many others, we have totally fallen in love with your bespoke and ready-to-wear hats, head pieces, bows and headbands.
Please tell us a little more about the story behind Camilla King Millinery and how it all began...
Oh thank you! I trained in millinery about eight years ago but only set-up Camilla King Millinery a couple of years ago when I was forced to quit my job in PR due to Lyme disease. Everything is made by me in my studio in London (apart from my fedoras which are blocked just outside London). I’m thankfully feeling a lot better now and part of that I definitely credit to starting up the business- I’ve loved every minute of it.
3. The past year has been incredibly tough for everyone especially for small businesses like yourself. In what ways have you had to adapt as a brand and what has it taught you about owning your own business?
Millinery has really felt the effects with no weddings and events going ahead. Luckily when I started CKM I already had everyday headbands as part of my collection, so my focus has been expanding on this range with hair bows and face masks. The hair bows have proven really popular, and I love wearing them with a simple jeans and t-shirt to give a bit of an edge to an outfit.
4. As Camilla King Millinery grows and your website expands, do you see any new products joining the family?
Absolutely! I’ve just launched my new SS21 collection, ‘Lemon Drops’ which includes occasion hats and headpieces, new picot edge satin hair bows and vintage top hats. It’s true when they say that they don’t make them like they used to! Originally made for men, I’ve repurposed them to be worn by women. They’re a real style statement and their wear and tear due to age just adds to their charm. I also have some exciting products hopefully launching later on in the year so watch this space.
5. We understand it may like choosing between your children but do you have a favourite piece you always refer back to - perhaps one that really resonates with your buyers or that represents you as a brand? I think I would have to say my headbands. I’ve worn various other headbands for years (long before they were cool!) and became increasingly frustrated at only being able to wear them for 30mins at a time before the dreaded headache would set in. All of my headbands come padded to ensure they can be worn all day and all night and with a signature knot in the centre, which elongates the face and is super flattering. I also use end-of-line fabrics, which would otherwise end up in the bin. Everything is made in very small quantities, ensuring no wasted materials.
6. When it comes to designing your pieces, where do you take inspiration from?
I love looking at vintage designs when hats were a real staple in everyday dressing. My style is quite classic but with a bit of an edge to ensure they can be worn time and time again. Everything can be personalised to suit you and your wardrobe, helping you to get the most out of them. With the right love and care, I hope they will be passed on for generations to come.
7. Is there a particular someone in the public eye that you would love to design a hat for and why?
I mean the obvious one is The Queen, she’s amazing and really knows how to wear a hat!
8. We are lucky enough to stock your stunning pieces here at Katie & Jo. Do you have particular stockists on your dream list for the future?
The dream would have to be Liberty London, the shop is just so beautiful. Or the iconic Fenwick’s hat department.
9. Finally, what's next for you and where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I’m currently developing a bridal range, which I’m really excited about. Everyone from the bride to the mother of the bride/groom, bridesmaids and guests want to feel amazing at a wedding and I love being able to be a part of that. After the year we’ve had, I hope to be going to as many weddings and hat-wearing events as possible!
10. We love the sound of the bridal range! Your wedding is fast approaching, will you be wearing CKM?
Definitely! I'm yet to try on a wedding dress so it's still a bit up in the air as I want the whole look to harmonise but I love veils and the idea of changing your headpiece to something a bit more fun/dance floor friendly in the evening. I have lots of ideas so the tricky part will be choosing just one...Camilla Loves...
Make Up Brand: I’m currently lusting after everything at Hourglass
Skincare Brand: Paula’s Choice
Clothing Brand: Seraphina
Restaurant In London: I’ve just booked Mrytle, which I’ve heard amazing things about but also my local Italian, Rosmarino
Fave Brunch Spot In London: Controversial I know, but I’m just not a fan of brunch...
Alcoholic Drink: Champagne!
Fave Item on Katie and Jo Website Right Now: the Cecile Copenhagen Handloom shorts, they’ve got my longing for the beach
Fave Katie & Jo Own Brand Piece: Cashmere Joggers – just SO soft!
It's been so great to chat to you Camilla, we can't wait to see what's next for you and CKM!