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Evetta Petty Is Bringing Harlem to the Royals

Meet the first Black milliner to join the Royal Ascot Millinery Collective

Originally published on The Cut, June 18, 2024

A blue straw hat with white roses at its center
Portrait of Evetta Petty's 'Blue Note' design. Photo by David Vail

Evetta Petty, the milliner behind Harlem’s Heaven Hats, always dreamed of one day attending the Royal Ascot races in England. Royal weddings aside, Ascot is the epicenter of extravagant millinery design. But race season is an exceptionally busy time for milliners, Petty says, “I just never really had the time.”

This year, she’s made room on her calendar. The Royal Ascot annually selects and spotlights around a dozen emerging and established milliners from Britain and beyond, who each add an exclusive design to Ascot’s permanent collection. A few months ago, the 66-year-old designer, whose hats have been featured in TV shows like Cake Boss, The Equalizer, and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, on the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and in the 2019 Milliners Guild exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, received an email asking her to be part of the Royal Ascot Millinery Collective 2024 and to create an original design. “I couldn’t believe it at first,” Petty tells me from her shop in Harlem. “I had to read it over and over again.”

Read the rest of the article here. 


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