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Hats off to the Anzacs

HerCanberra Team

Former Prime Minister’s Great Granddaughter, Amelia Hughes, joins in the commemorations for the 100 year anniversary of the ANZAC landings in Gallipoli with custom designed slouch hat.

Infamous Australian Prime Minister, William Morris Hughes, otherwise known as “Billy” to his beloved public, shaped our nation’s history over the course of his 51-year federal parliamentary career. Loved for his colourful character and challenged for his controversial decisions, Hughes remains one of Australia’s most iconic and influential figures and is celebrated widely this month in response to the anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli. The guns have long fallen silent on this pivotal moment in Australian history as today marks the 100 year anniversary. One Hughes family member is paying homage to the men and women who served, leaving behind her own legacy — in the world of fashion.

Raised in the nation’s capital, Amelia Hughes, great granddaughter of the former Prime Minister, possesses a rare combination of beauty, brains and charisma. The 5’10 part-time model graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economic and Social Sciences from the University of Sydney. Her passion for fashion coupled with an overriding entrepreneurial spirit later leading her to found online ready-to-wear millinery store My Milliner.

To commemorate the 100 year anniversary, Amelia has released a range of feminine slouch hats, synthesising her own sense of style into a historically and personally significant garment. Such craftsmanship is only a sliver of the ingenuity and passion she puts into her designs. With an effervescent, down-to-earth nature, Amelia is inspired by her own sense of wanderlust, confessing that she is “quite a gypsy, which is great for keeping my finger on the pulse trend wise”.

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Amelia began designing in her home studio and has since teamed up with local and international designers to distribute her products in a range of colours and styles. With an eye for style, evident from the impeccably dressed figure in her interview, Amelia recalls being stifled by the absence of a particular garment two years ago when trying to coordinate a race day outfit. She reflects that being unable to find a fascinator to compliment her chosen dress was a pivotal catalyst in unleashing the model’s inner business acumen.

“It prompted me to start making my own designs which led to the creation of an online store,” she says.

Her integrity and commitment to her label is far more than a mere hobby or profit/loss margin.  “When you have a brand that represents you personally, an incredibly high level of involvement is necessary,” Amelia shares.

Her personal involvement undoubtedly translates into her unique range of pieces available online.

Founder of My Milliner Amelia Hughes-ANZAC

When asked about her work ethic, Amelia describes the blurred sense of reality she experiences in her work, as her passion makes the business.

“It’s less of a chore and more of a part of my life — it is all consuming, in a good way,” she says while going on to stress the direct influence her healthy lifestyle plays in achieving her objectives. As a green-smoothie consuming, exercise devotee, Amelia says her best ideas often come to her while exercising.

Her abidance to three key areas; quality, accessibility and convenience has seen her placed firmly on the millinery map.

“I wanted to enable women to coordinate an outfit and purchase ready-to-wear headpieces from the comfort of their living room,” Amelia confesses.

Much like Amelia’s vibrant personality, the designer describes her brand as glamorous, fun and fabulous”. Ideal for women who want beautifully designed headwear for a professionally styled look, Amelia has fused together fashion and functionality by offering a diverse range of original labels including Luca Duval and Betini at the touch of a button. As she slicks back a glossy flick of golden blonde hair over her shoulder, the effortless movement reflects the future of her business — bright and fluid in movement. Amelia looks to expand into boutique and department stores as she hints at placing a bigger focus on the international market.

“The goal has always been to maintain a variety of quality pieces to cater for a global audience,” Amelia says.

Having begun her business venture after noticing a gap in the market, Amelia Hughes’ collection of accessible, beautifully crafted, ready-to-wear millinery has transgressed rapidly from a small e-store to amassing a large following of shoppers and a number of lines stocked in selected boutiques over the past year. Amelia Hughes epitomises her brand: stylish, glamorous and globally minded. With a hat-full of business acumen she is fast realising her dream to revolutionise the ways in which women accessorise, the future undoubtedly entails both brightly coloured millinery pieces and bright prospects for growth for My Milliner.

This article was written by journalism student, Bianca Farmakis.

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