LOUISVILLE, Ky. — We are 71 days from the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby. Churchill Downs announced, three—not one—hat designers are this year’s featured milliners. 

What You Need To Know

  •  Churchill Downs named three featured milliners for 2023

  •  Christine Moore is a six-time featured milliner

  •  Jenny Pfanenstiel is a four-time featured milliner

  • The Hat Girls are featured for the first time

There are three featured milliners for Kentucky Derbvy 149 (Churchill Downs)

Christine Moore is back for her sixth consecutive year. She is the first person to be named featured milliner of the Kentucky Derby in 2018. Her creations can be seen at racetracks across the country and have been worn by Katy, Perry, Jennifer Lopez and Kate Upton. Her designs have also been featured in the television shows Nashville, The Carrie Diaries and Gossip Girl. Moore has a New York-based business and you can see her Spring 2023 collection online.

Christine Moore has been named featured milliner six times. Here she is in 2020 (Churchill Downs)

Master Milliner Jenny Pfanenstiel returns as a four-time featured milliner in 2023. Pfanenstiel is kown for sculpting her hats by hand and using rare materials. Former first lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Madonna have worn her creations. She owns Formé Millinery in downtown Louisville and you can see and buy her hats at the store, at various specialty boutiques, and online.

Master milliner Jenny Pfanenstiel is enjoying her fourth time being named featured milliner. Here she is in 2019 (Churchill Downs)

New for 2023 are The Hat Girls. The new featured milliner for this year’s Derby are Louisville natives Kate Smith and Rachel Bell. In a release from Churchill Downs, it says their creations are “described as wearable art.” Smith and Bell are lifelong friends who became business partners and collaborators. Their hats can be found online.

“The act of wearing a hat to the Kentucky Derby is one of our most cherished living traditions,” said Casey Ramage, vice president of marketing and partnerships for Churchill Downs. “We’re fortunate to partner with these exceptional milliners and notable designers who both elevate the craft and invigorate the Derby with color, style and beauty. Fashion of the Kentucky Derby has become a sport in itself and is an integral part of the spectacle and entertainment associated with this most thrilling event.”   

The Kentucky Oaks is Friday, May 5 and Derby is May 6.