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Alannah Hill was born in Geeveston, near Hobart and as a child moved with her family several times. Her family moved from Geeveston to Sulphur Creek in the state’s Northwest, to nearby Penguin where her parents ran the local milk bar and service station before the family settled in Ulverstone. As a teenager, Hill moved to Hobart where she held down a range of different jobs including one as a go-go dancer in a restaurant.
Hill left for Melbourne not long after, “My aspirations were to make something of myself, to be good at something,” and worked as a stylist in video and film clips before landing a job as an actress. One of the films Hill got a part in was the cult classic, Dogs In Space starring former INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence. Nonetheless Hill eventually decided that acting was not for her, “I was a rotten actress” she remarks. Hill quit acting and got a job in retail working for a fashion company called Indigo. She stayed with this company for 16 years and was eventually offered the opportunity to launch her own range of clothing under the Indigo label. Hill’s clothing sold out within a week despite her having no formal qualifications in fashion design. Hill attributes her early success to her sales background, which she says has given her the confidence to know what people want. Hill continued to design clothes for Indigo until launching her own label in 1996. She opened her first boutique in 1997 and hasn’t looked back since. Today, Hill owns nine stores nationally and wholesales to outlets in Asia, Britain and America, New Zealand and Ireland. Hill now has a son and absolutely loves being a single mother. Before her son’s birth, Hill regularly worked an 80-hour week but cut back to spend more time with him. She says that her son Edward “is the biggest and best thing that ever happened” nonetheless, she still feels like there’s something missing from her life.“When you’ve fulfilled all your dreams, which I have – I’ve got the beautiful boy, the beautiful house, the big business – now I’m thinking, I need to work out something else,” she says. “I don’t quite know what it is. I think it will be something spiritual”, Hill says looking forward to the future. It’s just as well she’s got plenty of energy!
Based on: Marshall, C. (2004, January). Alannah, dressed for success: How ambition took a girl from Penguin to the top of the fashion world. Excite Magazine, pp. 8-9.
Wood, D. (2003, August 31). Design star on life and loathing fashion. The Sunday Tasmanian, pp. 12 – 13.