Words by Keanu Adorable
Few British Fashion Designers, in recent years, have made such a new impact on wider society than Henry Holland. Whether it’s his is A-list celebrity packed front row at his London Fashion Week shows, many of those celebs counting him as a friend. Or everyone from those A-list celebs, again,right the way through to regular folk like you and wear his, someotimes close to the knuckle, slogan T-shirts.
In the decade since he first appeared on the London Fashion scene with the intensity of a solar flare, the boy from Ramsbottom has never looked back and turning his hand to and showing his multi-talented approach to such things as presenting, journalism and collaborating with brands as diverse as Levis, Umbro, Debenhams and Magnum Ice creams.
One thing that sets Holland apart from from many of his contemporaries is his want to give back and helping young entrepreneurs follow his lead by breaking into the fashion industry. We recently caught up with Henry ahead of his London Fashion Week show when he was speaking on behalf of online job boards and Milkround in their latest campaign around achieving a healthier work-life balance.
What made you decide to create your own brand? It all started with your iconic collection of slogan t-shirts…
I was working in magazines and I absolutely loved it. I actually had no intention of creating anything that would change my career path. I just started making t-shirts for my friends and I to wear as a personal project. I think the authenticity and grassroots nature of the work really resonated with people and the industry – it took off quite quickly! It was very much an idea I had for my friends and I which worked on a wider scale, but that was never my intention and I think that’s why it worked. I think if I had a preconceived marketing strategy to launch the shirts in the way that I launched them, it would have been interpreted as unauthentic and wouldn’t have resonated in the same way. It all happened for a reason.
Do you want to create a lifestyle brand? Is this in the pipeline?
Yes, for sure. That’s definitely one of the things that I still have to do. Since day one, I’ve always approached House of Holland as a brand and I’ve never considered myself a young designer. I didn’t use my name for House of Holland because I’ve always seen what I’m doing as being about a brand, rather than it being about me. My outlook is that its very much team effort and there’s still so many different product categories and so many areas I want to work in. Watch this space!
What inspires you?
That’s a very difficult question to answer. I think as a creative person you’re sort of like a sponge. You’re constantly absorbing different ideas and concepts and trying to reconfigure them in your head to a way you can translate them through your work – that comes from all different places. I really like to reference films and fictional characters because I love the characterization of fashion. I love the way that you can use clothes to really tell the story of a character almost as much as dialogue.
When you look back on your career, what do you feel was your big break?
My big break was a happy accident like my entrance into the fashion industry. I made t-shirts with the names of fashion designers on them and I gifted them to my friends, some of those friends were the designers who were the names on the t-shirts. People first saw my t-shirts because Gareth Pugh was wearing it for work and he was so busy he didn’t have time to get changed after his fashion show. Gareth was wearing my t-shirt the night before his fashion show and he worked through the night so he was still wearing it when he came out for his bow at the end of fashion week! I think it was fate and very much meant to be. I believe in that type of thing.
What was the best piece of advice you were given when you started out in your career?
I think the best advice I had was to remain very authentic and true to who I am. I’m staying really strong on that with what I want to do and say with my work. I think people really forgot the fashion industry is an objective industry. One person’s favorite dress can be another person’s most hideous piece of clothing that’s ever been put out there. You have to remember that not everyone’s going to like everything that you do. So if you build your brand, build your company on a very strong set of rules and a strong DNA, then however much people like or dislike what you do then you can always remain true and authentic to what it is you set out to say in the first place.
Do you manage to keep a good work/life balance?
I keep an exceptional work/life balance and that’s partly because I love what I do so much. I’m very happy when I’m at work so I very rarely feel the differentiation between work and life. I also get to choose the people who I work with and I choose those people very carefully. I have one of the best jobs in the world and I think that helps you remain positive and happy in what you do.
How do you like to relax?
To relax or switch off I exercise because its probably one of the only times my brain thinks about something over than my work. I think when you run your own company, it’s very hard to switch on and off. People ask what hours do you work and the answer to that is the moment my eyes are awake to the time my eyes are closed. Exercise is kind of my chance to switch off. I run a lot and it’s good. Except when I ran two marathons, that wasn’t so good. That was too far. There’s running and then there’s running. That was running.
Who have been the mentors/people you have worked with who have been the biggest influence on your career?
My parents have been a massive influence on my career. My parents work in very different industries – my Dad is very traditional and runs his own law firm while my Mum runs a château and a training company in positive thought. My Mum runs training courses on meditation and relaxation, she’s very spiritual like that. My parents are at two completely opposite ends of the spectrum, but they both have the exact same approach in that whatever it is I told them I wanted to be, you couldn’t ask anyone to be more supportive as long as I had the conviction and the drive to do it. They would have been happy if I’d have been a bin man as long as I’d worked my way up to driving the truck. That was their approach. It was like just be you and be good at it.
When did you first realise you wanted to be Henry Holland, the fashion designer?
Still waiting! I don’t really see myself as Henry Holland the fashion designer. I think you just get on with your day-to-day work and your role. I think if you were to pause the TV and ask ‘can we have a chat about Henry Holland?’ you’d be a bit of a d**k. So I try to not focus on any of that. I try to get on with what I’m doing and work hard. I don’t pay attention to anything like that whatsoever. It puts me on any pedestal to says things like Henry Holland ‘the fashion designer’.
What would be your advice to anyone starting out wanting to make a career in fashion?
It would be to find that authenticity and what it is you want to say with your work. There’s so many brands out there and there’s so many different things going on in the fashion industry, it’s hard to cut through the noise. It was much easier for me ten years ago. I think its really about ensuring you’ve got something to say that is unique and different. The way you communicate that is so important. Just stay very true and authentic to yourself because its so much extra work if you’re having to be something you’re not. That’s a job in itself.
What skills do you think are most important to be a success in fashion?
What career advice would you give to the 18 year old you?
I would definitely say don’t threat too much about your first few jobs. My Mum always taught me that you’ll have seven different careers in your life. I don’t think you should put so much pressure on your first job or two because I think that some people need longer to find out who they are and what they want to do. It doesn’t always happen for everybody during university or during college. It’s important to go out there and experience the world and formulate your life plan from that. There’s no rush.
Words by Isaac Perry
This God fearing brand was founded in 2013 by Jerry Lorenzo(see below), Fear of God is still relatively new to the streetwear industry, though its becoming incredibly popular through its new and unique take on style and a fan base including Kanye, Just in Bieber and David Beckham. Largely influenced by Lorenzo’s Catholic faith, he soon realised religion was frequently seen within fashion, “I started at a time when there was a lot of religious symbolism within fashion, much of it very dark.“
In previous seasons the brand has been known for its oversized fittings and basic colours, But no more Fear of God has now has its own look named after it, with the oversized look often called ‘the fear of God look’, which now can be frequently found in high street our stores, paying homage to the Los Angeles based brand, just showing how much the Lorenzo’s look has quickly influenced the wider fashion industry.
This season the brand’s classic 90’s grunge style influence has shifted (sorry fear of God fans). At the beginning of Jerry’s original career plan, following in his fathers footsteps as a sporting agent, this was quickly dashed and a new direction in throwing parties for a clientele in hip hop fraternity introduced him to a fashion world not seen before, which gave birth to his love for fashion.
The new collection consisting of a slimmer fitting items, something which we never thought we would see from fear of God, all influenced from his time within the sporting industry.
There are certain words all men would like to be used when being described, rugged, good looking, athletic, manly and equally when it comes to our crowning glory we hope our mane of hair conjures up phrase including raw, effortless, disheveled. Well we just might have a product which will help you in achieving this all important look.
The new Aveda Texture Tonic combines a unique of ingredients which just happen to be 94% naturally derived. The magic ingredients in this new potion are Magnesium Sulfate, which you may be more familiar as Epsom Salt, which is known for their heeling properties and in this carnation provides that all important raw grip. Then we have Cane Sugar that hydrates and softens to achieve effortlessly uncomplicated looking texture without the crunchy dried out feeling.
The Global Director of Product Development, Sarah Willms, explains,
“Magnesium sulfate plus the pH of the formula work on the hair strand by helping to contract and compress it, imparting definition instantly, while sugar acts as a natural humectant. The end result is hair that has that desired piecey Texture with a great flexible hold”.
And while we’re getting some expert advice Michael London, none other than the Advanced Master Creative Director of the brand, let’s us in on his how best to use the tonic.
“ For shorter groomed styles apply to dry hair and spritz all over ensuring all areas are covered. Allow the product to settle before rippling and scrunching fingers through the ends to deliver an effortless raw grit.
Layer Aveda Texture Tonic at the roots over a base of Thickening Tonic to add depth and thickness. Then manipulate the ends between your fingers and twist the hair slightly at either side of the crown, pushing it in an upwards direction, before passing hands though the quiff as much as desired for a natural lift. This will add instant, natural looking Texture with a malleable hold”.
Words by Charlie Britton
When it comes to clothes shopping, a favourite and must-visit store on the majority of peoples lists is H&M. The Swedish clothing giant operates in 62 countries, with 6 other brands operating under the H&M group umbrella. These are COS, Monki, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories, Weekday and its newest member, ARKET.
As the second largest clothing retail company worldwide just behind Spain-based Inditex, who are responsible for the likes of Zara, H&M group has well established its name in the industry and is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. The introduction of ARKET proves that the fashion brand still has more to give and we’re excited to see what the future holds for the Swedish clothing company.
ARKET, meaning ‘sheet of paper’ in Swedish, has launched it’s first store at 224 Regent Street in London, next door to H&M group’s first British based Weekday store which also opened its doors just weeks ago. ARKET’s offerings include menswear, womenswear, kids and home products, tailored towards the modern-day individual. It’s mission is to ‘democratise quality through widely accessible, well-made, durable products, designed to be used and loved for a long time.’
To fully understand the brand, we went down to the ARKET store in London to view the store concept and products offerings. The store looks great and strongly represents a Nordic style of living. The minimal colour palettes used throughout the interior work well by giving the products the limelight and the shelving and furnishings are well fitted, contemporary and functional.
The new Regent Street store occupies 2 stories of an old department store corner building, incorporating womenswear and kids on the upper floor and menswear, homeware and even an ARKET cafe on the ground floor. The character of the building only complements the brand, reinforcing a Scandinavian style of living. This is again exaggerated in-store with the use of lifestyle elements, design details and products that fit with the brands unique selling point.
With offerings from other brands such as COS, H&M and Weekday, we were keen to see what ARKET could bring to the table in terms of originality and design. Weekday tailors towards the younger generation, with a focus on modern and mindful fashion. COS heads upmarket slightly, offering modern, functional and considered design. Both brands are heavily influenced by Scandinavian design, so we expected to see a similar approach with ARKET.
The product is very much similar, but different, in respect to COS. Its almost as if COS have taken its more formal collections and products and expanded this into its own brand. The price point is again very similar to COS, however ARKET stocks several other brands and produces slightly more expensive garments, especially in regards to outerwear.
The majority of the mens, womens and kids collections are very simplistic, minimal and contemporary in design. The clothes work well as essential pieces, however it would also be very easy to build a wardrobe from the brand. Block colours, tailored fits and on-trend details run throughout the menswear collections, making it easy to build stylish and flattering outfits that’ll work well through the seasons.
The homeware products are what we would expect from a Scandinavian brand. Functional, aesthetically pleasing and well designed are words that come to mind, with colours, materials and silhouettes strongly representing a Nordic style of design used throughout. There are definitely some homeware products we would love on our shelves at home and in the office, so it’s worth checking them out if you’re planning on redecorating anytime soon.
ARKET plans to expand its store offerings across Europe, with another UK based store opening in Covent Garden in the coming months. Here at Clothes Make The Man, we’re excited to see how this brand moves forward and encourage you to check out a store soon. Alternatively, the brand is of course available to purchase online at ARKET, so pay it a visit to check out the collections for yourself.