William Chambers is a leading British milliner who creates handmade hats and headpieces that are stocked in the country's top department stores. He is a former recipient of the British Fashion Council and Stephen Jones 'Headonism' collective and member of the Ascot Style Collective, alongside Jones and Philip Treacy, amongst others. He launched William Chambers Millinery in 2008 and opened his hat shop and atelier in Glasgow city centre in 2014.
Chambers gained a First Class Hons degree in Textile Design at the Scottish College of Textiles before studying millinery at Metropolitan University. He worked for luxury haberdashery VV Rouleaux before setting up William Chambers Millinery in 2008 after winning the VICE UK Creative 30 competition. He has won Accessory Designer of the Year three times at the Scottish Fashion Awards, in 2010, 2012 and 2014. He launched William Chambers Cashmere in 2016, winning the Scotland Re:Designed Cashmere Design Award with the first collection.
He exhibits regularly at London Fashion Week, and his hats are stocked in the UK's best department stores, including Harrods and Fortnum & Mason.
In 2015, Joy City Shanghai held the first major exhibition of his hats, as part of the UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange 2015. In 2018 his AW18 collection William Chambers x CRM is exhibited at The Lighthouse, Glasgow as part of the Mackintosh 150 celebrations. His hats are in the collections of the National Museum of Scotland and The Hat Works, Stockport.
Celebrities who have worn his hats include Kelis, Kate Moss, Suzi Perry, Joan Jett, Ana Matronic, Eleanor Tomlinson, Suki Waterhouse, Tiffany Tang, Ashley Jensen, Roisin Murphy, Livia Firth, Anna Della Russo and Judy Murray.
His hats have appeared in Vogue, Elle, Evening Standard, Style.com, Tatler, New York Post, The Telegraph, The Sun, Metro, Grazia, Red, Glamour, Conde Nast Brides, Wallpaper, Travel & Leisure, Nylon, Harpers Bazaar, Paper, Wall St Journal, Sunday Herald and The Scotsman, and he features in the hardback book Couture Hats.
Chambers seeks to modernise millinery with a fresh look at how we dress the head today. His taste for the avant-garde mixed with his knowledge of the retail sector results in designs that are at once both exquisite and wearable. He mixes traditional materials such as felt and sinamay with contemporary materials like latex, plastic and metallic leather, creating headwear that is both progressive and desirable. He takes his inspiration from many sources, but the biggest influence on his designs is his own flower-filled back garden: he is as keen a gardener as he is a milliner.