Grazia and BT help give London statues a Hatwalk makeover

Lord Nelson is among several London statues to be flaunting new headgear this morning in a celebration of millinery supported by Grazia and BT as part of Fashion 2012, the fashion arm of the London 2012 festival.

Lord Nelson sports Union Jack headgear
Lord Nelson sports Union Jack headgear

A year in the making, Hatwalk will see 21 London statues, including King George IV (Trafalgar Square) and William Shakespeare (Leicester Square) adorned with headwear curated by world renowned British milliners, Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy, assisted by Grazia’s style director Paula Reed.

The hats will remain on the statues for five days and include variations such as the ‘Red, Red, Rose’ headpiece (Robert Burns, Victoria Embankment) and flamboyantly coloured turbans (Beau Brummel, Jermyn Street).

Grazia has worked in partnership with the Mayor of London, BT and the British Fashion Council.

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, said: "You’ve got to take your hats off to London. Our city is a melting pot of creativity right at the forefront of global fashion and design. The cutting edge style and imagination of London’s millinery talent is feted worldwide, and is setting the international catwalks alight.

He added: "I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the heritage of British millinery and its contribution to our fair city than by dressing our most noble of statues, including our most heroic son, Nelson in creations dreamt up by our leading visionaries. In this summer like no other, we have come up with series of spectacular surprises and once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will be popping up throughout the capital. HATWALK is just one of these, so keep your eyes peeled for what’s coming next!"

Hatwalk also champions emerging talent, with Sophie Beale, the winner of Grazia’s Hat Factor - a competition launched in March to find the UK’s hottest new milliner - designing a piece for British general Sir Charles Napier in Trafalgar Square.

Throughout the London 2012 games, the public can visit an interactive BT themed structure at the BT London Live event in Hyde Park, which will include replicas of all the hats and a wall-to-floor virtual screen for fans to have a photo taken with a John Lewis donated hat.

People will then be given the opportunity for the photo to be shared through social media and posted on GraziaDaily.co.uk. Organisers are expecting up to 20,000 people a day through the hub.

At BT House, people will be encouraged to download an application which will enable them to access content including short videos from the designers explaining their inspiration behind each hat design. In addition, people will be able to download a virtual map of the Hatwalk so they can tour London and see the statues themselves.

Digital activity is an integral part of the project with a designated microsite, www.graziadaily.co.uk/hatwalk, featuring live commentary, imagery and video throughout the week. As part of the BT sponsorship, which Bauer Media brokered, BT will have branding throughout the website and be referenced on all digital platforms.

Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest will all be active during the project and fans will be encouraged to get involved in the conversation through #hatwalk. A viral teaser was issued through Grazia Daily on Friday, July, 27 with users encouraged to guess the nature of the video for a chance to win a year’s subscription to Grazia magazine.

Bauer Media will promote the project through the tomorrow's (31 July) issue of Grazia, Grazia Daily, Grazia Facebook page and Twitter.

Abby Carvosso, managing director of Bauer Magazines lifestyle, said: "The relationship with BT and the Mayor of London highlights the innovative way Grazia works with its partners and the depth of interaction sponsors can have with their audiences through Bauer’s influential brands."

David James, consumer marketing director at, BT said: "BT is so pleased to get involved in such a quirky and appealing initiative like Hatwalk. It brings together imagination, fashion, communications and social media - through hats and statues! It will really appeal to customers who will enjoy seeing the ‘hatty’ ideas, learning more about them through video they can see via broadband, and being able to show pictures of themselves, ‘wearing’ hats, via social media."

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