23 May 2022

Hilary Thompson: Over 35 years in the Fashion Industry!

Hilary Thompson: Over 35 years in the Fashion Industry!

Hilary Thompson entered the fashion industry at the tender age of 14 and did her first TV advertisement for Schweppes Tonic when she was 16. While studying languages in Dublin she continued her modelling career doing television adverts, photographic work and on the catwalk.

As she was not blessed with height, she tended to be chosen more for photographic work, where she got many opportunities to model fabulous clothes, and she loved it! This is why she always encourages young people who may not be endowed with catwalk height, to explore all other aspects that the modelling business can offer. 

She started her own agency over 30 years ago, originally called 'Faces Modelling Agency'. Her first patrons were Gretta Gibbs of Catherine’s Street, namely the late Gretta Coughlan who gave Hilary her very first show. Also Gretta and her two sisters Veronica and Lillian became very close friends of Hilary's, and she has been doing fashion shows with them ever since. She also modelled for well-known fashion designer, Vonnie Reynolds, in her early twenties. 

They say the fashion industry is a tough business – and at times it is – but Hilary has been so blessed with the friendships she has made over the years from the shops that have supported her, to other industry professionals, and of course her modelling team that has expanded and changed over the years, but the loyalty is constant. She enjoys her work so much because of this camaraderie, the passion for fashion shared and the fun they have doing it! 

Early 2020 was a difficult time for the industry and for everybody on a personal level. Hilary is proud of the ways in which her team all came together and found solutions to support each other. In the height of the pandemic when people were not allowed to come together at all, she found creative ways to model outfits in the great outdoors to help x and y shops to promote their beautiful clothes.

Hilary also ran a very successful, Covid-compliant fashion show with the transition year students in Villiers, while keeping everybody safe and still managing to enjoy it. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! 

One of Hilary's great passions in life is working with young people. She think it keeps her young! She has a special place in her heart for the work she does with Villiers school, where she has been training students for over 35 years. She also thoroughly enjoys the small group classes she runs with young people, training them to be models – but more importantly, watching their self-confidence grow. 

She sees the pressures these young people are under these days and it is such an important lesson to learn that beauty comes from the inside out. 
She is launching this website a few months after her 70th birthday so it feels like an important milestone for her. The fashion industry has given her so much. As a single mother in the 80s/90s, it enabled her to earn a living. It also opened up many creative outlets for her, including regular contributions to radio and print media; working as a stylist helping other
women to feel beautiful; getting involved with several fantastic charities and creating many excellent events.

She is already buzzing about the new projects and collaborations she has in the pipeline, and is always open to new conversations and co-creations. 


O’ Donnell’s Boutique, Catherine St. Limerick 

Henshin, Castletroy Shopping Centre : Hair & Make-up

Hilary’s Gucci Sunglasses from Grogans Pharmacy & Opticians, Ballina /Killaloe 

No 1 Pery Square

Phone: 087 2405807 Email:

Click here to visit the Hilary Thompson website

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