Progressing from student to specialist

Morley Millinery Tutor, Vesna Pesic is enormously proud of Rafael Peinador and all the work he has achieved following studying at Morley. She invited Rafael to share his story of progression from student to specialist…

My millinery journey started about 4 years ago. I did a year at Morley College three terms, with Claire Strickland the first one and with Vesna Pesic the remaining terms.
In 2018, one of my hats was a finalist for the exhibition ‘Inspired by…’ where V&A museum collections are reimagined by artists, designers and makers. 

I also took a few classes with Edwina Ibbotson in 2017-18. The same year I got a few months’ work experience with Awon Golding and in the English National Opera (ENO) Millinery Department with Megan Bearup.

The year after, I completed my HNC in Millinery at Kensington and Chelsea my tutor was Sarah Cant, and I also had Ian Bennet, Sophie Beale, Vivienne Lake, and Iona Montgomery as teachers. In June 2019 I was the winner of the Ascot for Longines competition organised by the HNC and Longines and my hat was worn by model and presenter Rosie Tapner. After college and started working part-time for Stephen Jones. I also worked for Jane Taylor during busy periods, as well as doing my own work.

I presented my first collection, SS20 ‘Hampers and Diamonds’ in 2020. When the pandemic arrived I diverted all of my efforts to trying to develop a stronger relationship with stylists and designers and to making unique pieces for catwalks and special events.

Since then, I have collaborated with fashion designers. This September will be the second season that I will be designing and making hats for Brain and Beast’s catwalks. I have also created headpieces for television series, music videos, movies and fashion editorials for online and printed magazines.

In April 2021 I got the second prize of the Anual HATalk competition with my hat Meadow a twist on a classical bonnet.

My plans for 2022 are to keep designing commercial collections, increase collaborations with designers and launch a soft hat line with a young vibe. And find a proper studio.