Rye hats could be heading for Hollywood as firm goes global

Rye hat
Rye hat

A SPECIALIST Rye milliners is set to open an outlet in America to meet the growing demand for its hats.

Herald and Heart, which has a shop on Rye High Street, says it is opening a branch in Florida to cope with the “overwhelming” demand for their bespoke head-wear.

Ken White, from Herald and Heart There has been a marked increase in interest for occasion hats in America over the last few years and the added influence of Kate Middleton has helped even more to push millinery once again to the top of the accessory tree. “

Herald and Heart are no strangers to the US market, since exhibiting at New York Fashion Week nearly twenty years ago, their hats have graced stores from coast to coast such as Barneys, Henri Bendels, Saks Fifth Avenue and many others throughout the United States. Having a Florida branch will enable easier representation and distribution to other stores they supply as well as directly to customers in Orlando and through Central Florida.

A new collection for 2013, including an updated version of the famous hat made for Andie MacDowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral, has just been completed by hat designer Tracey Mogard and already has sparked much interest, both here in the UK and for export.

The collection was photographed in the art room of The Fletcher Centre in Rye.

As well as bespoke millinery, Herald and Heart’s shop on Rye High Street caters to men as well as women.

The shop came to the aid of a local theatre group for young people with special needs by supplying them with hats for a production they staged after Rye Town Council turned down a request to borrow tricorn hats worn by councillors.

Herald and Heart’s designer Tracey Mogard joined a theatrical millinery company in 1979 and worked on television and theatre projects as diverse as Poirot and the Wives of Henry the Eighth.

The business has held successful shows at the London, Paris and New York fashion Weeks.

They have worked on a collection of hats to bear the official Royal Ascot brand, working closely with Selfridges.

They are also the official Stetson agents on this side of the Atlantic.

Ken White said: “Our hats are made exclusively in our Rye studio and we have a real passion for what we do.”