“If you want to work in fashion, you come to New York,” said Ashley Lloyd ’09, who set out to make a name for herself as a daring, avant-garde milliner, or hat designer. “The stylists, the magazines, and the designers are all here,” she added.
After graduating, Lloyd made the move to New York, where she landed an internship at W magazine and began lending her hats to stylists. She took a part-time job at a luxury retail boutique to support her millinery work.
“The millinery world in New York is very small and highly competitive,” she explained, adding that her experiences studying abroad in Italy while at MICA provided inspiration that still fuels her collections to this day. Fortunately, Lloyd has the ambition and talent needed to make it as a designer. Already, her hats have been worn and photographed by many famous names: top fashion photographer Steven Klein shot model Kate Moss wearing Lloyd’s hat for W and legendary fashion photographer Bill Cunningham’s photographed writer Lesley M.M. Bloom wearing her hat for The New York Times.
The highlight of her career so far, however, was when Lady Gaga’s personal stylist requested a hat from Lloyd.
“Seeing Lady Gaga wearing my hat in a photograph shot by Annie Leibowitz for Vanity Fair felt like three triumphs in one,” she said. “I actually missed a very important party for fashion week to finish the hat she wore. It was well worth it!”