All eyes on Keely Hunter. She is an incredibly talented milliner, handpicked for Bright Young
Things, a project by Selfridges to promote exciting new creatives. This season she has also been
part of BFC's Headonism and is featured in the upcoming 4th issue of S Magazine. I have known
Keely for a long time and she is someone very close to my heart. I sat down with her recently to
ask a few questions and to discuss her exciting future.
Q: How did the brand Keely Hunter begin?
My first proper collection was my graduate collection, which was made totally out of wood! When I graduated I began interning, however I was keen to maintain the focus you have at college - so I tried to hit the ground running; still producing a seasonal collection and my own work. Its just developed and grown season on season from that point, which is great.
Q: I know you have assisted people like Fred Butler and Noel Stewart. How was the
transition period between working for someone else to starting your own business?
It was very scary. If you are doing something on your own you are personally very attached to
that. I still feel very close to the people I worked for, especially Fred, who I collaborated with on her
AW 13 collection "Wham Bam, Tangram Famalam". She has been a real mentor for me, that is a
really good support to have.
Q: Do you work with interns and if so what qualities do you look for in someone?
Yes I usually work with an intern, my most recent has just left so I will be looking for new people
soon. It is definitely nice to have someone who is formally trained in millinery. Craft has a deep foundation in millinery, so its nice to see someone’s commitment and development of that in their early stages. I like to hear how people have arrived at their ideas and the thought process behind it.
Q: Tell me about your working space?
I'm still working from home but I'm hoping to move into my own studio space soon.
Q: I know making hat blocks is really difficult, how do you manage this at home?
I do a lot of the forming for my hats at my father’s workshop on the Isle of Wight, it's a big space full of the tools I need. My Dad is an engineer, which has been huge inﬂuence on me. He has a wealth of knowledge and is incredibly supportive, always introducing me to new materials and processes.
Q: You work with such unusual materials, tell me about that?
I really love plastic, I don't think it will always be plastic but at the moment, I do not feel that I have exhausted it. I even feel that plastic has become a signature of mine, maybe even more than the hats! I am also really interested in 3D printing, mainly because I've reached the point where I’m finding it difficult to make what I am drawing now, 3D printing presents a lot of possibility’s in terms of what you can create. It’s very exciting!
Q: Tell us about your SS14 collection?
My SS14 collection is called Curvature Linear. Its still very architecturally driven in terms of shape, however I have really tried to combine a softer elegance within the collection. So, still feminine but with the strong lines and structures which are associated with my aesthetic.
Q: You are also a part of Bright Young Things, how did this come about?
It is such a privilege to have been approached by Bright Young Things. It is an incredibly diverse
project. Our products are sold in store and everyone selected is given the opportunity to create a t-shirt, film and a window display. I also hosted an evening at Selfridges where I held a workshop. It
has been a great experience.
Q: Are there any goals you have set for your self for the future?
Yes, my big goal now is to create a clear architecture within my brand. Its important to me that people can access my work on a number of levels so I’m looking to develop ready to wear. Also, although I frequently make bespoke pieces I would also like to introduce a couture range in the future.
Photography – Benjamin Madgwick,
Stylist – Daisy Newman
Hair – Yoshitaka Miyazaki
MUA – Francesca Brazzo
Nails – Imarni Ashman
Model – Imogen Watt @ FM Model Agent