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TALK: Colin's Question Time

02 / 06 / 2013
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Fresh off the red-eye from New York City, House of Holland founder and creative director, Henry Holland sat down with Colin McDowell to discuss everything from launching his label to his More magazine collection.

Holland’s buoyant emergence into the fashion circuit came when his cheeky statements printed across t-shirts sent the creative world into a frenzy. "It all started with a drunken night and my friend Gareth Pugh was teasing me because I thought I was going to be a t-shirt guru. I had sent 150 t-shirts to Heat magazine, put my mobile number down as the sales contact and then sold six. So I said what if I put your face all over my t-shirt it will probably sell more, and it did."

Initially selling his t-shirts on Myspace, Holland shared his opinion about the importance of social media in new business. "I grew up on the internet and I feel that it is important for businesses use it how people use it with their friends. Every brand is different. Take Christopher Kane, he doesn’t use social media or have a website and that works for him."

When asked about how he began his company, Holland shared that he was given a loan of £500 from his mum which he instantly spent on shoes, telling those who wish to start their own company, ‘all you need is enough money for your fabrics and your sewing machine’.

The debate about university verses experience also came up with Holland expressing the importance of both. ‘University is about you as a person, those 3 to 4 years are vital parts of your life but no-one can leave uni and go straight into a job. You need experience and the best time to get that is during your spare time. You can facilitate working for free with grants and loans; I did when I worked with teen magazines. They called a conference call for a new Blue video which I thought was so much fun but I also started making t-shirts in the fashion cupboard which is kind of where House of Holland began.’

Holland also revealed what it takes to be an intern with his company, ‘buy me lots of cream eggs! But on a serious note, I always look at the breadth of experience and portfolios to see how we can fit your skills and creativity into the company.’

Finally, Holland left his audience with some advice on how to effectively use their creativity: ‘it’s about having a voice that you can communicate. Every collection has been an education for me and I wouldn’t take anything back. I’ll probably sound like my mum but everything you do wrong is a good learning experience, just don’t make the same thing twice!’

Written by Rhianne Sinclair-Phillips (@mybfswardrobe)

Images by Asia Werbel

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