Press release: June 2017
Following his 10th anniversary, a successful second collection with Habitat, and on the cusp of launching his own concept store in China, Pure London is delighted to announce British fashion designer Henry Holland as its second keynote speaker.
Henry’s Pure London address on Monday 24th July at 3.20pm will cover topics ranging from his unconventional route into the fashion industry and how to remain authentic, negotiating the collaboration process, how to regularly engage customers and keep them excited about the brand, and his greatest challenges.
After graduating from the London College of Printing with a BA (Hons) Journalism, Henry was catapulted into the fashion limelight in 2006 with his irreverent ‘fashion groupies’ slogan tees featuring catchphrases such as “uhu Gareth Pugh” and “Get your freak on Giles Deacon”. In February 2008, after two seasons showing with Fashion East, House Of Holland held its first solo show on the London Fashion Week schedule to critical acclaim. House Of Holland is firmly established in the international fashion arena and in January 2012 was awarded a two-season Fashion Forward sponsorship. Now in its 10th year, House Of Holland boasts an impressive roster of international premium stockists including Browns Focus, Colette, Emporium, Harvey Nichols, IT, Isetan, Liberty, Lisa Via Roma, Matches, Net-A-Porter, Opening Ceremony and Shopbop. Henry is also heavily involved in collaborations with Debenhams, Umbro and Habitat.
In his own words Henry took an alternative approach to entering the fashion industry; “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.”
Renowned for his brand collaborations, Henry’s recent collection with Habitat has drawn him into the world of interiors. Talking about the process Henry says; “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.
The most exciting parts of the collaboration are working on different executions and different categories. They worked out the different techniques and we utilised a lot of our print and pattern work. We work with people for two different reasons, to develop into different product areas and deliver new and exciting things for customers, and also to utilise them for their different experiences, expertise and factory contacts.”
With a successful wholesale business as well as See Now/Buy Now collections comes other challenges such as the pace of the industry. Henry says: “Slow down. Give us a chance to breathe. It’s a very competitive market and it’s a very competitive fashion calendar. There is a challenge for smaller brands to keep up with the pace of the bigger brands and their bigger budgets. I think it would be great if there was a better reception to people creating collections with a frequency that suits them. Often having to sit within certain fashion calendars throughout the year is really tricky, and we’re very much dictated to. There are so many brands out there today since I started, the increase in the number of brands in the market place has exploded, so given the volume of brands there could be less structure in terms of the frequency in which all of those brands deliver.”
On the See Now/Buy Now model Henry says; “It’s important to balance the See Now/Buy Now model with a much stronger core collection which is more trans-seasonal and much more permanent for a brand and then have these peak showcase collections which are See Now/Buy Now.”
Taking 26% of the business share, China is an important and growing market for House Of Holland. It will be the first market to see a House Of Holland concept store, something that’s been on Henry’s career bucket list; “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.”
Julie Driscoll, Portfolio Director for Pure London, commented; “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.”
Henry will add to a line-up of more than 30 inspiring speakers across the three days, including Sunday’s keynote address by Dr Pam Hogg. A whole host of panel discussions, Q&A’s, trends, insights and fashion-forward catwalk shows are set to further enhance the visitor experience and guide buying choices at Pure London.
Other speakers include Ben Allingham, Head of PR and Marketing at Just Hype, Alice Ratcliffe, Brand Lead, Appear Here, Olivia Cantillon, Director, Ownthelook.com and Nichole de Carle, Lecturer at London College of Fashion for Activewear, Lingerie & Swimwear Design, as well as Sara Maggioni, Director of Retail and Buying at WGSN. A highlight for buyers, stylists and designers each season, Maggioni will share the key looks, colours, shapes and fabrics set to be huge in Spring Summer 18. These looks will then be brought to life in the main runway show, with all outfits available to order from brands at Pure London.
To view the seminar programme and find out more information on the SS18 event, visit www.purelondon.com. The next edition will take place from 23rd – 25th July at London Olympia, welcoming over 800 brands across womenswear, menswear, young fashion, athleisure, footwear and accessories.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
About Pure London:
Pure London is the UK’s leading trade fashion buying event, representing womenswear, menswear, footwear, accessories and young fashion. The show offers buyers from UK and international independents, multiples, department stores, etailers and mail order, the opportunity to discover collections launching for the season ahead, attend catwalk shows and hear from their peers and other industry experts in valuable seminars and workshops. Pure London is an Ascential event. www.purelondon.com
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