Aage Thaarup was born in 1906 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He left school at 16 to work in the ladies' hat department of Fonnesbeck's, a Copenhagen fashion store.
From 1926 to 1932, he traveled to Berlin, Paris, London, Bombay and finally Delhi, where he set up a millinery business specializing in mourning hats. He opened a house in London in 1932.
After World War II, Thaarup designed 'Teen and Twenty' hats, a mass produced line that sold worldwide.
He wrote a book called "Heads and Tails", published in London in 1956.
He died in 1987 aged 81.
His designs attracted much attention. One hat was decorated with tiny coloured safety pins, another a white felt pillbox was trimmed with red and white knitting wool and two knitting needles and was called 'Purl and Plain'. His other designs included peaked schoolboy caps, large 'halo' hats which broke with the trend of turbans and Breton hats during the 30's.
Thaarup's clientele has always included royalty, society ladies and Hollywood actresses. In 1947, he designed the going-away hat for Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) after her marriage to Prince Philip. Until 1986 when the Queen stoped riding at the Trooping of the Colours, she would always wear a Thaarup tricone hat and each year the colour of the plume would change to match the plume worn on the side of the guards bearskin hat.