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Hat Trick: A Chat With Amelia Hughes Of Sustainable Hat Brand My Milliner

Championing a more intentional way of life, the designer and entrepreneur opens up about her creative ethos, commitment to sustainability, and self-care
Reading time 3 minutes
All images courtesy of My Milliner. Shot on location at Alila Seminyak.

Creativity often grows out of necessity, and that clearly rings true for Australian label My Milliner. Having searched high and low for the right fascinator to accent her race day outfit, but to no avail, founder Amelia Hughes decided to take the next logical step — design her own. And so, My Milliner was born.

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Cognisant of the gap between fast and luxury fashion, Hughes aims to fill this void with her brand, without sacrificing quality or ethics. A strong proponent of slow fashion and sustainability, the Sydney-based entrepreneur focuses on artisanal headwear at an accessible price point, drawing inspiration in particular from her picturesque neighbourhood of Bondi Beach.  

My Milliner offers a thoughtful selection of minimalist, classic styles that are meant to last, such as timeless Panama and Bolero hats. Each versatile piece is crafted entirely by hand from locally-sourced wool, fair-trade plant fibres like rice straw, and genuine leather, and comes in three sizes for all genders. There’s even the option to personalise a purchase with a discreet monogram and an interchangeable leather band in five colours: grey, brown, black, tan, and beige.  

Below, Amelia Hughes shares more on her design ethos, her dedication to sustainability, and how she recharges her creative batteries.

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My Milliner’s minimalist design aesthetic and meticulous attention to quality has garnered an impressive cult following. How did the brand come to be?

From the outset we wanted to create beautiful, finely crafted hats using the highest quality sustainable materials.

Central to the brand is our customer: discerning men and women who appreciate elegant craftsmanship.

True to our name, we offer customisable components, including interchangeable bands, monogramming, and adjustable sizing for a precise fit.

 

Describe your creative direction?

I view fashion as part of a conversation that spans art, travel, literature, film, nature, and design of all kinds. These sources of inspiration not only influence the aesthetic and functionality of the hats, but also form the basis of our brand narrative.

I love being able to collaborate creatively in different locations with new and interesting people.

Our hats are thoughtfully designed with everyday style and modern-day travel in mind.

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What are your brand values?

As a brand we focus on sourcing high-quality natural materials. Our objective is always to create well-designed, timeless wardrobe staples that can be worn throughout the seasons.

We are committed to sustainability and ‘slow fashion’. By opting to purchase long-lasting, quality investment pieces, we can all slow the rate of consumption and reduce the environmental and social cost.

 

What are some of your favourite things to do in your free time?

I love to travel whenever possible and look forward to the day we can all travel again post-pandemic. If I’m home in Sydney, I recharge with coastal walks. I also love trying new dining experiences, relaxing and laughing with friends, and reading — I’m currently reading The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

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