London Fashion Week designer Henry Holland on the future of big brand fashion
British designer Henry Holland on his famous fashion friends and how his brand is looking to digital
As an industry, fashion can be one of the hardest of them all to crack, and someone who knows this all too well is 34-year-old fashion designer Henry Holland. The creative mogul behind brand House of Holland is best known for the bold and playful designs that launched him to style stardom more than a decade ago, securing him a regular spot at London Fashion Week season after season.
Opening up about his business – known for pushing the boundaries of commerce as much as London fashion – during a tour of his East London Studio, Holland said that the runway-to-retail luxury ecommerce model embraced by LFW brands including Mulberry and Topshop may be on the cards for many more fashion houses to come.
"I think we're in a really interesting time in the fashion industry, there is no blueprint for how things should be done anymore, that's really exciting, thrilling and petrifying at the same time. There are so many different concepts being born out of the global online generation that we're a part of," he told Yahoo Style. "I think if the way you communicate to your consumer, sell to your consumer, and market to your consumer is unique to you and your brand then it's just going to strengthen whatever it is that you have and you can just follow your path. Who knows what the future holds!"
While fashion was an avenue Holland always had in his sights, it wasn't one that came easy. "Growing up in Ramsbottom, an opportunity to have a career in fashion just didn't compute - you don't even realise that there is a fashion industry," he shared. "My dad's side of the family were very traditional in terms of career choices, whereas my mum's side was very unconventional with no real structure. This sort of shows the two sides to my split personality, sort of catered for in my two sets of parents." >>
The owner of his own successful sartorial empire, he's also collaborated on collections with Superga, Pretty Polly and Charlotte Olympia, as well as Ben Sherman at this season's London Fashion Week Mens. But he still manages to balance a successful career with a healthy social life too, counting Edie Campbell, Alexa Cheung and Pixie Geldof among his closest companions.
"We all knew each other before we were famous and it's baffling to certain people that we all met through different avenues," he said. "I met Nick Grimshaw [through] my housemate who happened to be [model] Agnes Dean - and this was before she was even called Agnes Dean, she changed her name. I met Alexa Chung when I used to work at a magazine called Smash Hits and her boyfriend was a photographer who used to shoot our front covers, so she used to come on the shoots and hold light for him if she didn't have a modelling job that day.
"We all just bonded over mutual ambition," he said. "There was a real energy amongst us. We were all driven to be what we wanted to be and work really hard."