After graduating from Winchester school of Art and Design with BA Hons in Fashion Design, Bee interned for various companies including stylist Karl Plewka, designer Sophia Malig, and German design company Felder Felder.
Whilst interning at Felder Felder, Bee also started selling the beginnings of her acessories collection at Spitalfields Market, London.
Next Bee worked for the well known Hardy Amies as an assistant pattern cutter; this then led to her first paid job after graduating. Unfortunately, soon after, Hardy Amies closed up and sold the company. On the bright side, around the same time, Bee was approached on her stand at Spitalfields by a Woman who wanted to buy her hats and sell them in her boutiue in Paddington. Although an exciting offer, with not a huge amount of Millinery experience Bee decided to return to college and improve upon her hat making skills. She attended Kensington and Chelsea College, where she was taught by Noel Stewart the London based milliner with international status. The course was part time for two years, resulting in a BTEC in Millinery which led to her confidence to set up her own company; which has always been a childhood dream of hers.
Bee Smith Millinery started in Fusion Art Studios on 1st July 2010. Her own business, her own space and her own boss; Bee started on her first ever collection, and here it is:
Bee then bagged herself a contract with Rokit Vintage selling a selection of her hats through their store and online store.
Bee Smith Millinery started to take off, she did anything from quirky fun designs, to matching hats to outfits for clients. Her work has been exhibited all over London in different galleries and sold in pop up shops. Her clients started to build up, with everyone wanting something different; allowing Bee to explore different skills and styles.
Ascot became a big event for Bee, with her commisioning hats for many different clients.
Here we look at some of Bee’s most recent commisions for Royal Ascot 2015:
Bee commisioned hats for vintage girl band The Tootsie Rollers for day one and two of Royal Ascot 2015.
Day ones hats where inspired by Audrey Hepburn and the doves in classic film ‘Funny Face’ and day two where inspired by ‘Singin In The Rain’.
The Tootsie’s perform as an acapella group:
One commision that Bee is very proud and honoured to have been able to design and make; was a hat for this lady, receiving an OBE from Prince William.
Here are a few of Bee’s favourite hats from over the years:
Thank you for supporting Bee Smith Millinery over the past five years; we look forward to the next five years and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.
Happy 5th Birthday Bee Smith Millinery!! Congratulations!