Hilary Radley is a women’s ready-to-wear brand known primarily for its colourful yet classic coats, from quilted jackets to car-coats, to capes and raincoats. The designer behind the eponymous label is originally from England, where she studied fashion at De Montfort University. New to Montreal in 1976, she went to live in New York City for several years to work as a freelance designer, finally moving back to Montreal in 1983.
Hilary Radley launched her first outerwear collection in 1986.
From the very beginning, her creations combining high-end materials with exquisite tailoring led Miles Socha, the editor of Women’s Wear Daily, to dub her the “Queen of Coats.”
The 1990s were a time of expansion for Hilary Radley as she opened her first showroom in New York City. Stores like Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York began selling her coats. At the same time, she signed a licensing agreement with Quebec manufacturer, the Utex Fashion Group.
The Hilary Radley brand slowly branched out to other products, notably menswear, eyewear, shoes, scarves and purses.
After gradually moving away from the artistic direction of her brand, Hilary Radley returned to design in 2009 when she terminated her contract with Utex and signed with the Levy Group, an American firm. In 2017, her label was purchased by Canadian group Corwik, owner of the Katherine Barclay brand. The two brands merged to become Hilary Radley for Katherine Barclay, which is now run by Creative Director Barbara Boosamra. As of 2018, the brand’s collections were sold in 700 stores across North America. The Hilary Radley head office is located on Chabanel Street in Montreal’s garment district.
Madeleine Goubau, Contributor