Piers Atkinson launched his first collection of luxury, handmade headpieces in 2008, the nine-piece collection contained elements of his roots; from fashion and theatre to sculpture and the wild, energetic excesses of the London club scene.
Having grown up in a household of hats (his mother worked as a theatrical milliner for the English National Opera) Piers moved to London as a graduate of photography in the mid-nineties. He helped out at that year’s Alternative Miss World, the brainchild of artist Andrew Logan, now an occasional collaborator: ‘He helped me see the rich possibilities of the just-do-it attitude.’ In 1999, Piers started with iconic fashion designer Zandra Rhodes. ‘She instantly cured my conservative approach to colour!’ says Piers, and his link between art and fashion was forged. Now Piers’ designs are exhibited in galleries and museums as works of art, most notably in the V&A’s ‘Hats: an Anthology by Stephen Jones’ and ShowStudio’s exhibition ‘The Café'.
Piers creates a new collection of fifty prêt-à-porter pieces each season, showing in London and Paris. Every design keeps to the brand’s design aesthetic which sits on the knife edge between classic sophistication and outré wit, embodied by the now-famous, classic Hyper-Cherry headpiece first seen on Japanese Vogue’s Anna Dello Russo on the front row at Prada.
Each piece is created by Atkinson and his team of craftspeople in his East London studio, using couture skills ranging from leatherwork, embroidery and traditional hat-blocking to gold leafing, prop-making and hand-beading. His collections are known for their wit, the unexpected materials and the drama. Piers frequently collaborates with runway designers, including Ashish, Zandra Rhodes, Charlotte Olympia and Bobby Abley, for their Fashion Week presentations.
The glamorous and sophisticated nature of Piers’ designs are de rigueur at events and parties and have been seen on stylish women (and some men!) around the world from Rio to Tokyo, from London to LA. He has dressed such icons as Andrea Dellal, Anna Trevelyan, Beyonce, Cate Blanchett, Charlotte Olympia, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Saunders, Kate Moss, Lady Gaga, Marina and the Diamonds, Miley Cyrus, Paloma Faith, Rachel Weisz, Rihanna, Sarah Mower, Dame Joan Collins and Dame Zandra Rhodes. The Princesses of York and Dame Shirley Bassey have worn his hats at Ascot.
Piers’ creations regularly appear in the pages of Vogue, Love, VCR Fashion Book, V Magazine, Tatler and the London broadsheets. His hats are available across the globe – from 10 Corso Como in Seoul to Fenwick’s in London, via Joyce in Hong Kong and Alan Journo’s famous store in Milan.