In conversation, Henry Holland mentions words like “fun” or “luck” far more than other London-based designers of his age tend to. Not for him the role of tortured artist then, but he’s certainly no airhead either.

His work ethic would surely leave many wilting in its wake. The House of Holland label, like it or lump it, is a very modern fashion phenomenon; surviving and growing way beyond his or anyone else’s initial expectations and now managing to cleverly nod to high fashion and the high street, while winking at the giddy heights of mainstream celebrity, all at once. Encompassing clothing, shoes, eyewear, accessories and, soon, various body care lotions and potions as well, the Lancashire-born 29-year-old’s oeuvre now veers ever closer to full-blown lifestyle brand. Hence, seasoned fashion hacks earnestly review the mainline catwalk shows, Heat magazine paps him when he’s out partying in the East or West End of London with famous long-term mates including Agyness Deyn, British stores like Debenhams tout his H by Holland line to middle England trendies, and teenagers sometimes even scream out his name, as though hailing a favourite pop star, when they spot him in the street. “Yeah, I can’t go into Topshop during half-term!” he admits, laughing at his own fandemonium.

With his trademark quiff, skinny trousers and cheeky grin, Holland is a flamboyant and instantly recognisable ambassador for his work: the perfect upbeat charmer to cater for the wardrobes of today’s Facebook generation. Remarkably, though, he has no fashion design qualifications. Ten years ago, Holland was studying journalism at London College of Printing, before interning at Emap’s now-defunct, rather hilarious teen gossip magazine, Sneak, where he eventually bagged a job on the fashion desk. After this, he became fashion editor at Smash Hits, then Bliss, and there spent his days cobbling together the obligatory spreads of celebrity focused style, fashioned for Primark budgets.

By 2006, in his spare time, he’d designed some t-shirts for a laugh, adorned with satirical slogans about fashion designers, the most famous proto-Holland creations being, DO ME DAILY CHRISTOPHER BAILEY, or UHU GARETH PUGH and CAUSE ME PAIN HEDI SLIMANE. These took off big time (and were subsequently ripped-off by high street chains), whirling him into areas of the international fashion world about which he then knew little, though has since become more than familiar. Henry recalls, “I remember going to see the buying director for Barneys with a carrier bag full of t-shirt samples. I had no idea of the magnitude of what I was doing. She called in the whole buying team and I just pulled out the t-shirts one by one… they placed an order for, like, thousands of them. I didn’t really compute it properly. I mean, now I’d be petrified, but I was blissfully ignorant which made things much more fun and organic.”

In the aftermath of that first flush of success, some critics reckoned Holland would be a one-season wonder swiftly heading down the pan. He had other ideas. “The reason why I started a label, was because in one of the reviews of my first show, from style.com, there was a line that said, ‘It’s all very good and fun but the joke will only last five minutes, so if Holland wants to carry on doing this, he’ll have to think of something else.’ That, for me, was my real turning point – it spurred me on. So the next season we launched dresses, swimwear, denim, jewellery, handbags, eyewear.”

Read more of our exclusive interview and Thriving Brits feature in Issue Two of The Hunger, on sale now.

Look out for more of our Thriving Brits interviews, coming soon to hungertv.com

See more of House of Holland’s collection on their website.

Fashion

HungerSS15MSGM_©TomasoLisca-11

Fashion

MFW: MSGM

Published on 21 September 2014

Inspired by the author Jonathan Franzen, MSGM interprets freedom for SS15.

trussardi-3744

Fashion

MFW: Trussardi

Published on 21 September 2014

Gaia Trussardi tells us why SS15 reflects her need for movement.

marni-3322

Fashion

MFW: Marni

Published on 21 September 2014

The brand celebrate their 20th anniversary with a modern SS15 collection and the opening of the Marni Flower Market.

figurino main 2015 2

Fashion

Mixtape: MSGM – SS15

Published on 21 September 2014

Massimo Giorgetti gives us an insight into his influences for SS15 with this exclusive playlist.

1MEADOWLANDS

Fashion / Photography

Meadowlands

Published on 21 September 2014

Photographer Larry Gorman and stylist Graham Cruz debut their menswear shoot for our Young Blood series.

_MON0516

Fashion

MFW: Emilio Pucci

Published on 20 September 2014

It wasn’t just the return of Naomi that had us applauding at Emilio Pucci.

ITA_0044

Fashion

MFW: Giorgio Armani

Published on 20 September 2014

Giorgio Armani’s SS15 collection was inspired by the sea, the sand and the landscapes they shape.

HungerSS15Iceberg_©TomasoLisca-12

Fashion

MFW: Iceberg

Published on 20 September 2014

Icebergs SS15 collection took us on a Californian road trip.

msgm_james_edit_final_110

Fashion

Me and My Shadow

Published on 20 September 2014

Ahead of their SS15 runway show tomorrow, we showcase some of the key looks from the MSGM AW14 collection in this special fashion shoot.