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Walter Florell was a custom milliner who rose to his greatest fame in the 1940s and 1950s. Born in Germany, he moved America as a young man and landed a job designing hats at the millinery salon of Lilly Daché in 1936. In 1939 he left to open his own salon where he was immediately successful. He made hats for famous woman including many Hollywood actresses such as Great Garbo, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Alexis Smith, and more. He also designed hats for The Duchess of Windsor. His film millinery design work includes the movies “Easter Parade” and “Sunset Boulevard” and he also did work for several Broadway plays. During WWII he volunteered as a mechanic for the American war effort. Aside from hats, he branched out into clothing and wigs before closing his salon in 1963. He died at his home in 1986.

Written by Rue de la Paix