colinmcdhenryholland

Sunday kicked off the beginning of this year's Graduate Fashion Week filled to the brim with leopard print wedding dresses, pom-pom knits, caramel lattes and the odd runway catastrophe (wish we secretly loved). Not only did the shows dazzle but the stars themselves as we sat down for Colin's Question Time with the charming Henry Holland.

Straight from New York without a wink of sleep which made him brilliantly honest, Henry was probed by Colin McDowell and the audience. Henry shone a light on how to get into the industry and stay there as well as his House of Holland success and the predictable eccentric anecdotes we would only expect from his outlandish character.

Henry began his fashion path studying journalism at the London College of Communication as well as interning at a range of teen magazines. Finding journalism wasn't for him, he moved onto designing, launching a range of t-shirts via Myspace and Paypal (those were the days). These t-shirts didn't quite hit off just as Henry had expected, selling a total of six. But not giving in, he gave the t-shirts another shot after designer friend Gareth Pugh joked at his lack of success, he responded "maybe I'll just put your name on a t-shirt" and he did, and typically, it was a hit.

Here are Henry's top pointers on getting by in this cut-throat industry:

  • It's important to have a balanced understanding of both business and design for a well rounded point of view of how the company you're working for runs to successfully work and communicate ideas with the whole team
  • Aim to intern at big and small names to get mixed responsibility and understanding of different businesses
  • It's great to have investment when starting out with a new company however you can start a business on any budget. Henry started with just £500 from his mum which he then went on to splurge on some designer shoes..

  • It's important to have the talent but be social and network too, "you may have created the most beautiful dress anyones' ever seen in your bedroom but you need people to see it and appreciate it"
  • Believe in your brand and have clear brand vision; you'll never please everybody but as long as you can make things commercial and accessible they will sell

  • Colin ended the talk only with only kind words describing Henry as a positive and grounded individual and we couldn't agree more.

    Colin's question time will take place at the end of each day including the likes of Imran Ahmed, Mary Katrantzou and a special guest (who will it be?!) - if you've reserved your tickets catch you there, if not stay tuned for updates!

    [Image taken from Official GFW Blog taken by Asia Werbel]