Philip Treacy

Born: Ahascragh, Ireland, 1966

Designer Biography Peter Pilotto

Credits & copyrights: Kevin Davies

Born in the West of Ireland, Phillip Treacy moved to Dublin to study fashion at the National College of Art and Design in 1985. Whilst studying, Treacy started to make hats as hobby. When required to find work experience as part of his course, Treacy secured a six week placement at London based hat designer Stephen Jones.

After graduating, Treacy enrolled at the Royal College of Art in London in 1988 where he joined the College’s first ever millinery course.

In 1989 Treacy approached Michael Roberts, the then fashion editor of Tatler magazine and his style editor, Isabella Blow. Blow was immediately impressed with Treacy’s designs, and asked him to design a hat for her wedding. Blow became Treacy’s patron and he began designing from the basement of her house in London.

Treacy started designing hats for Chanel in 1991. The first hat he designed featured a twisted birdcage. The design was photographed by Patrick Demarchelier and worn by Linda Evangelista on the cover of British Vogue.

1991 also saw Treacy named British Accessory Designer of the Year by the British Fashion Council. He received the same award the following year.

Treacy debuted his first fashion show at London Fashion Week in 1993. The collection featured all black hats and the supermodels of the decade – Naomi Campbell, Yasmin Le Bon, Kate MossChristy Turlington and Stella Tennant all modelled for Treacy for free in return for free hats.

Treacy opened his first shop in London in 1994 and in 2000 became the first ever accessory designer to be invited by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture to present a haute couture show in Paris dedicated exclusively to hats.

In 2004 Treacy won the Chinese International Designer of the Year Award and the following year completed his first interior design project at The G, a five-star hotel in Galway, Ireland.  In 2007, for his contribution to the fashion industry, Treacy was awarded an OBE.

Industry leaders, including Isabella Blow and Franca Sozzani, have backed Treacy. His glamorous and creative hat designs have re-defined millinery with unconventional head wear. Treacy himself has commented that he is ‘constantly challenging the perception of what a hat should be and what role it should play’ and that ‘hats are no longer symbols of conformity but highly individual acts of rebellion.’

Philip Treacy, a renowned milliner, has left a significant mark on the world of fashion with his exquisite hat designs. His creations have been embraced by celebrities and royalty alike, earning him a well-deserved reputation as one of the greatest milliners in the industry.

Treacy’s talent has been showcased in various high-profile events and films. He designed hats for movies such as the Harry Potter series, including the iconic Beauxbatons hat in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Lady Gaga have graced red carpets and shows wearing his exceptional headpieces, earning him admiration and accolades.

English royalty has also been charmed by Treacy’s creations. At the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, thirty-six of his hats were worn, including the renowned “pretzel hat” donned by Princess Beatrice. Treacy’s hats also adorned guests at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, further solidifying his association with royal occasions.

His extraordinary talent and contribution to the fashion industry have earned him numerous awards and honours. Treacy was named British Accessory Designer of the Year multiple times and received the International Designer of the Year award at the China Fashion Awards. His hat designs are displayed in prestigious museums, and he has been celebrated with postage stamps honouring Irish fashion designers.

Treacy’s passion for hats goes beyond mere fashion; he believes hats should evoke emotion and make the heart beat faster. His unique and visionary approach to millinery has captivated the world and earned him a place of distinction in the realm of fashion design.

Philip Treacy Biography

Avatar photo

Written by Saxony Dudbridge

Saxony Dudbridge was one of the first contributors to the Catwalk Yourself project, Saxony studies International Fashion Marketing and she is responsible for our great History and Designers Biographies sections.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *