Katie Hillier has had a career most could only dream of. Designing accessories at Luella, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and working as a contributor and senior-editor at POP, Katie’s resume is a fashion wonder.
But it was only recently that the British designer turned her sights on a different goal: creating her own label. Fresh on the heels of her win as Accessories Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2009, Katie set to work on Hillier, her eponymous jewelry line.
Mixing luxury with fun, Hillier is adorable, unexpected, and highly covetable.
Fashionista: You’ve had a lot of success working for different companies like Marc by Marc Jacobs and Luella. What made you want to start your own line?
Katie: We’ve been discussing the possibility of our own line for a very long time and it just seemed a natural progression at this stage. Fine jewelery is a very big passion of mine and I wanted to explore this part of the market in our very own way. It’s something we don’t do for any of our other clients. We have so many ideas that we are unable to work on, so the Hillier line gives us an outlet for them.
Why jewelery, instead of, say, handbags or accessories?
There’s a specific craft to fine jewelery which I am very passionate about, being able to work closely with local artisans and very precious materials was very seductive.
How is creating your own line different from working with an established company?
It’s actually much more challenging because it’s about you, it’s very personal, no briefs are given or paths to follow. So it really can be whatever you want it to be. But I think that’s what makes it so exciting, establishing something new and hopefully lasting.
Hillier is described as “Luxury. With a wink.” How does that phrase embody your style?
Because we work in very precious materials but the finished object is not conventionally precious, it’s a found object twisted. So it’s luxury with a nod to the unconventional.
The short film on your website is adorable, how did you create it? (Watch it here.)
We worked with an amazing team Sadie and Jo Williams, brother and sister combo and really good friends of ours! It’s a really fun process working with them–just a few conversations, not much of a brief, with an amazing end result.
Any plans for expanding your line?
For now we are concentrating on the fine jewelery. But watch this space!
What was the best job you’ve had in the fashion industry? And the worst?
I am very lucky to have worked with the most amazing people in the industry, I have had hard jobs but never bad. I think my experience at Marc Jacobs has been one of the best; certainly the longest, nearly eight years! I love my job so every day is great, however tough it may be, because I’m doing what I love!
Any dream clients you’d love to work with?
I would love to do a project with one of the big jewelery houses: David Morris, Cartier or Boucheron. Now that would be amazing. But for now I couldn’t ask for anymore dream clients, as we already work with them!
Are Bunnies the new “It Accessory”? It seems like they’re really gaining momentum, especially in the UK!
Indeed they are! Show me the bunny!!