Lucy Barlow – hat maker

27th December 2023  |  ALUMNI | AWARD WINNERS

Lucy Barlow – hat maker

Winner of the 2023 Heritage Crafts President’s Award for Endangered Crafts

Straw hat maker Lucy Barlow has won the 2023 President’s Award for Endangered Crafts. The prestigious award, and £3,000 bursary, was initiated by Heritage Crafts’ President the former Prince of Wales.

The President’s Award trophy was presented to Lucy at a special presentation at St George’s College, Windsor Castle, on Wednesday 15 November 2023.

Lucy apprenticed with Phillip Somerville of Bond Street in the late 1970s and then went on to Paris to assist master milliner Jean Barthet on the collections of Yves St Laurent, Chanel, Balenciaga, Karl Lagerfeld and Claude Montana. Recently completing an MA in Menswear Millinery at the Royal College of Art, Lucy’s dissertation ‘The Last Straw?’ looks into strategies for the regeneration of the stitch straw industry in the UK. She is a 2019 QEST Garfield Weston Foundation Scholar.

Lucy plans to use the prize to equip her garden workshop so that she can teach machine sewing of straw plait into hats. She would repair historical machines and also invest in new machines that are easier to acquire spare parts for. She plans to focus on finding ways to bring the skill to future generations and involve more diverse communities.

Photo: Lucy Barlow (President’s Award winner 2023) and Jay Blades MBE (Heritage Crafts Co-Chair). Photo by Stefan Jakubowski.