Hilary Huckstepp

Fashion Designer

Hilary Huckstepp was a fashion designer known for her emphasis of shape and cut. At the age of seventeen Hilary was awarded a place in the fashion school at the Royal College of Art. In the first year with Professor Madge Garland and the highly esteemed Janey Ironside in her following two years. In her second year Hilary won the Royal Society of Art’s award for footwear design, then in the third year winning the prestigious Bianca Mosca for fashion design.

In order to widen her knowledge Hilary combined the two awards to study shoe design at the Ars Sutoria school in Milan. Whilst there she was offered the new position of footwear designer at Marks and Spencer. Based in head office and working with numerous manufacturers. Hilary gained workroom experience by moving to the clothing studios, after which a move to a large house in Warwickshire provided the space needed for her own label fashion design and production, starting in 1964.

The essence of her designs being perfection of cut and quality, and her clothes selling in Harrods, Harvey Nichols and small shops around the country. Also exporting to America, Canada and Japan. In 1973 she started producing mail order designs for quality papers and journals for the first time including Childrens’ wear, predominantly for the Times and Sunday Times. Fabric was sourced from many suppliers, though Liberty prints were a favourite.

Prudence Glyn of the Sunday Times wrote that Hilary was the only designer who knew how to cut.