Designer Profiles: CKB Millinery | A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the seventh installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next week and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Claire Kelly Badger – CKB Millinery

IrishFashion Innovation Awards Picture-iloveimg-converted

What sparked your interest with millinery?

I have always had an obsession with hats.  Since I was a young child, my grandmother had a fabulous collection of formal hats hidden in a wardrobe that came out at special occasions.  I used to try them on all the time along with her big coats and I think my obsession started from there!  

Timothée Cognard

Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?

I have a Degree in Business in Human Resource Management.  I started out doing a beginners Millinery course in Galway a few years back as a hobby, then proceeded to do one-to-one lessons with Lina Stein, an International award winning Milliner based in Westport.  I have continued to do courses with Lina over the years, there is still so much to learn, I am only tipping the iceberg.


What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?

As previously mentioned, I am only a part-time Milliner.   I work full time in my career in HR.  Millinery is like a release for me, somewhere to go to relax and get lost in the world of creativity.  


What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?

I love whatever is in fashion, I love to shop and key an eye on what is trending – I love colour, jewels, lace and anything sparkly so if I can incorporate any of the into my collections I am happy.  For the Autumn Winter, I love to keep hats simple but sophisticated, very demure.  


How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

Continuous learning online and in millinery classes has definitely brought my hats to a new level in recent times.


What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

Plan plan plan! Don’t leave deadlines until the last minute and always have your brand looking professional – first impressions are key.


Describe your creative process.

When I get in the zone, I cannot get my pieces done quick enough.   I have ideas in my head and I’m afraid If I don’t get the work done immediately, I will lose the creative flow.


How do you get unstuck creatively?

Get out and explore, go for walks, shop.  I find that sometimes you could might see an object, it could be absolutely anything from a tree to an ornament and you will want to recreate it with material to add to a design for a hat.


What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

What mood am I in today?  I think my mood determines the type of creation I start.  If I am not in the right form to work on my hats, I will leave it until I am or I will sit looking at a piece of material for hours and I won’t get anywhere.


How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

It can be difficult and times like summer are extremely busy.  I work full time and my job is quite busy so it can be difficult at times to prioritise.  But the key is to plan and not to take on too much.  I only take on what I can handle, while still maintaining a work life balance.


Where do you see your brand expanding to?

Who knows!  I never expected to set up my own business a few years ago.  I only started in millinery for the love of making things and the desire to create my own hats.  This evolved overnight for me, so who knows what will happen in another few years.  


What advice would you give to young designers?

If you love something enough, stick with it.  Opportunities will come to you, just go with them.



Image 2|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

Featured Photography|Timothée Cognard

All other imagery via Claire Kelly Badger



Claire will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via prior to September 9th.


The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email


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