The Fold Woman: Rachel Trevor-Morgan

The Fold Woman: Rachel Trevor-Morgan
April 22, 2016 The Fold
Rachel Trevor Morgan Fold Woman

Can you tell us about your career background and how you came to become a milliner?

I was initially interested in theatre costuming and fell into hats slightly by mistake. My mother always wore lots of hats and somehow the drama of millinery appealed me.

I learnt my craft doing an apprenticeship in Graham Smith’s studio. Graham was a master milliner, his work was exquisite and always looked flawless. I had landed in the best possible place to learn.

I have always been drawn to beautiful objects and fine craftsmanship – millinery combines these two elements wonderfully. I absolutely love what I do. I love the whole process of designing and making and the relationship you build with individual clients.

Rachel Trevor-Morgan The Fold

Rachel wears The Hampton Dress  in navy organza with a bespoke Rachel Trevor-Morgan design

You set up your own millinery studio in 1990 – what 3 tips would you offer to fellow entrepreneurs setting up their own businesses?

You need to be passionate about what you do and be prepared to work hard and long hours.

Take time to learn your craft. Not only how to make beautifully but also the importance of understanding your product in relationship to your client. A happy client is a loyal client.

Customer service is key. It seems so basic and yet so many businesses seem to get it wrong. Customers want to be treated well and to know that your company cares.

Do you have a mentor? How important has that been in your career?

No not really but over the years I have certainly had people I could turn to for advice. When you start out on your own it is difficult to make certain decisions.

Very early in my career I attended a fashion business course run by David Jones. He taught me a lot and has always been at the end of a phone if I have needed him. Graham Smith, as well as being my biggest influence, has also been willing to offer helpful advice.

Rachel Trevor-Morgan The Fold

Rachel wears The Northcote Dress in winter white tweed  from our pre-fall collection with a bespoke Rachel Trevor-Morgan design

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Probably to be a bit bolder and believe in myself sooner! Having said that you have to go through those early stresses and make mistakes in order to gain confidence and acquire the knowledge that can only come with years of experience.

In 2014 you were granted the Royal Warrant of Appointment to the Queen. How did it feel when you heard the news? And how has the appointment shaped your business?

The warrant was an incredible accolade and one of my proudest business moments. Suppliers have to have provided a service to The Queen for at least five years in order to get a Royal Warrant. Over the last 8 years I have made over 80 hats for Her Majesty. A Royal Warrant is the ultimate seal of approval.

What are your top tips for choosing a hat?

Keep an open mind and try on many different styles, including ones that you don’t think will work. It’s often something unexpected that can work beautifully.

Take account of what you are wearing. If your dress is busy and patterned, keep the hat simple. With a simple outfit, you can make a bold statement with your hat. After all it’s the hat that will get all the attention. If you can, take the outfit to try with the hats, this can make the decision much easier and allow you to see the overall effect.

Look at yourself in a full-length mirror to see your whole silhouette…balance is key when choosing a hat.

If you are going racing, take care to follow any dress codes. If you are attending Royal Ascot, your hat had to be at least 10cm in diameter. There is no bigger fashion faux pas than being turned away from an event because you haven’t followed the rules!

Rachel Trevor-Morgan The Fold

Rachel wears The Hampton Dress  in navy organza with a bespoke Rachel Trevor-Morgan design

Outside of work, how do you like to unwind?

I like to get away from London every now and again to my cottage in mid Wales. Being surrounded by hills and sheep is a great antidote to the city. I have 3 children, a husband and my wire-haired Dachshund to keep me busy! I also attend a weekly ballet class, which I love. It is a wonderful and civilized way to exercise.

How do you go about dressing for work – what are your 9-5 staples?

My go-to work wear is mostly anything black! My day constantly changes, I could be seeing a client one minute, then dyeing fabric the next; so wearing dark colours covers a multitude of sins. I have to find the balance of being smart, but also comfortable. I love simple knit tops with trousers or an A line skirt.

And finally, what is your favourite piece from The Fold’s summer collection and why?

I love the Hampton dress. I wore it in navy for my Fold shoot and adore the new forest green colour. It has a classic silhouette and flattering high cross over neckline. I know I could easily pair this dress with a hat for the season.

Millinery by Rachel Trevor-Morgan

Pictures by David Nyanzi

Hair by Easton Regal

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