Willow Hilson, the fashion expert who scouts Kate Middleton’s vintage outfits

Kate Middleton in a vintage dress in Trench Town. (Jamaica, March 22, 2022.) Getty

If the Princess of Wales is used to recycling her outfits, it’s rare that she wears old. Until she discovered the business of the British specialist from the 1920s to 1960s.

Kate Middleton’s vintage address? The 36, Suffolk Parade in Cheltenham, a town of 100,000 in Gloucestershire, UK. There snuggles the small boutique of Willow Hilson, specializing in fashion from 1920 to 1960. It was she who supplied the vintage pieces worn by Kate Middleton during her official trip to the Caribbean in March 2022. Go for color more than ever a shimmering wardrobe. On this occasion, the one who constantly recycles pieces from her wardrobe had taken a new step: venturing onto the vintage side, with a striped dress and a crocheted orange handbag. Two tracks are by expert Willow Hilson.

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Kate Middleton visits the Prime Minister of Jamaica with her vintage bag. (Kingston, March 23, 2022.) Getty

A dress story

Willow Hilson developed her passion for period clothing on the benches of the renowned London school Central Saint Martins. At 20 she left the capital for the west of England and sniffed around the boutique in Cheltenham. A year later, her owner made her his heir and sold her the business. Connected to the history, past and future of the clothes she unearths, Willow Hilson regards her work as an “intimate experience,” as she confides to the British edition of Grazia. This would bring him an inexhaustible clientele of individuals, but also of stylists and costume designers, for example for the series downtown abbey.

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It’s undoubtedly this extra care that led Willow Hilson, who also owns an online sales site, to Kate Middleton’s coveted wardrobe. And that perhaps persuaded the aristocrat to indulge more in the attire of the past. A few months later, on October 13, the one who now bears the title Princess of Wales also appeared in a Chanel jacket, also vintage.

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