Milliner Stephen Jones has collaborated with Balenciaga, Raf Simons , Lanvin, Karl Lagerfeld , Burberry, Vivienne Westwood , Comme des Garçons, Marc Jacobs , Jean Paul Gaultier , Dries Van Noten and Giambattista Valli, among many more. He is one of the most lauded milliners in modern memory and has worked in the industry for over three decades.
His work has featured in campaigns for Dior Parfums, Nina Ricci, Revlon, Lancôme and L’Oréal. Along with his work in fashion, Jones has created costume pieces for Kiera Knightley in “Atonement,” Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” and Audrey Tautou in “Coco Avant Chanel.” In addition to his film work he has made tour costume pieces for Madonna, Alison Goldfrapp and Grace Jones.
Jones’ first commercial role was designing a line of hats for Fiorucci in 1979. In 1980, Steve Strange, owner of London boutique Blitz, provided financial backing for Jones’ first millinery salon, which opened in the basement of the store PX, in Covent Garden. The salon was an instant success, Jones told The New York Times in 2008: “Overnight, I had a business.”
On New Year’s Eve 1980, Jones had his head shaved by friends, leading him to discover that without hair, his head was a perfect woman’s stock size, and that he could become his own fit model. He now develops all his ideas and designs upon himself.
In 1982, Jones showed a collection in Paris for the first time. By this time, Jones was well established in London’s high society with regular customer such as Princess Diana and Isabella Blow, and London’s burgeoning club-kid scene, with clients like Boy George, Spandau Ballet and the New Romantics. In 1984, he began selling his designs through Bloomingdales in New York.
Jones launched a diffusion line named Miss Jones in 1990 and in 1993 he launched Jonesgirl, a line exclusive to Japan. The Stephen Jones brand has had a strong presence in Japan since 1990, when Jones struck a licensing deal for T-shirts, cosmetic bags and handkerchiefs to be manufactured there under his name; this was followed by Stephen Jones Kimonos in 1991, gloves in 1993, sunglasses in 1992 and handbags in 2002. Jones also co-curated the 2009 exhibition “Hats: An Anthology” for the V&A.