Designer Henry Holland will deliver a keynote speech at women’s and men’s trade show Pure London on Monday 24 July.
Holland, who has just celebrated his brand’s 10th anniversary will be tackling subjects such as his unconventional route into fashion, how to remain authentic, successful collaborations and connecting with the customer.
A fashion journalism graduate of London College of Printing, Holland burst onto the fashion scene in 2006 with his bold graphic slogan T-shirts that paid tribute to fellow fashion figures, such as “uhu Gareth Pugh” and “Get your freak on Giles Deacon”. After two years showing his House of Holland brand with fashion incubator Fashion East, Holland went on to show at London Fashion Week and in 2012 was awarded a two-season Fashion Forward sponsorship.
His brand is now stocked at some of the world’s leading multibrand retailers including Browns, Colette, Emporium, Harvey Nichols, IT, Isetan, Liberty, Luisa Via Roma, Matchesfashion, Net-A-Porter, Opening Ceremony and Shopbop, and he has also launched successful collaborations with Debenhams, Umbro and, most recently, Habitat.
Of his route into fashion, Holland explained: “I kind of worked back to front and launched my business with one of the most commercial products that you can which is a printed T-shirt, and then I built an aesthetic off the back of that. I think that for a lot of people they spend time in a design school working on their aesthetic and developing their creativity, then for the first two years of their career they really showcase that and maybe after three years they drill that down to something more commercial and viable product for the consumer. I did that whole process completely back to front. The biggest challenge for me has been communicating to the consumer and the media that we are more than a T-shirt brand.”
His collaboration with Habitat has taken Holland, and his distinct aesthetic, into the world of interiors. “We translated the ready to wear collection, evolving that into homeware, using the same prints and the same embellishment techniques, so we continue to tell that story. It was really about working with their team to work out ways to execute that because there are different techniques being employed, different ideas and different materials that I’ve never worked with before. For example, I’ve never made a rug before or worked with those kinds of suppliers so it’s about working with them to help execute the concept and the ideas and build it as a range to make sense to their customer,” he explained.
A leading exponent of the see now, buy now catwalk model, Holland said it had been important for him to balance his collection to be much more trans-seasonal and has said his next ambition is to create a retail concept to showcase the entire House of Holland brand. China, which accounts for 26% of his current business, will be the first market to see a House of Holland store.
“I would like to build our own retail concept whether that’s bricks and mortar or more of an online proposition. To create something that showcases our world as a whole, as an entirety encompassing all our collections and product categories under one roof, there’s an opportunity there to create something really exciting,” Holland said.
Pure London portfolio director Julie Driscoll said she was delighted to secure Holland as a speaker in a line-up for the show which also includes Dr Pam Hogg and lecturer and designer Nichole de Carle. “Henry is a much loved and respected figure in the industry and we are delighted to welcome him to Pure London. I think visitors will find his address insightful and informative,” she said.
Pure London takes place at London Olympia from 23-25 July. Holland will deliver his talk on Monday 24 July at 3.20pm.