Exclusive: Henry Holland Talks Groupie Girls, ‘Blinging’ Fashion Critiques And Rocking Out With Pixie Geldof

Henry Holland's got no time to bask in the glow of his stormingly successful London Fashion Week show. He's already designing the next collection (yes, really), is busy selling this one and then there's the small matter of a marathon to prep for. From career highlights to studio soundtracks, via pizzas with Pixie and co., Henry gives us an insight into his busy schedule…

You’re running another marathon?
‘I’m an alright runner – I’ve had a personal trainer which sounds very swanky, but I’ve sort of fallen off schedule around Fashion Week. I think my last drink until April will be New Year’s Eve. I’m running for Stand Up To Cancer – I’ve done work with Cancer Research UK so when they told me about their new initiative I was really keen to do anything I could.’

Will you be the guy who runs it dressed as a potato?

‘I did try and come up with a genius plan of breaking a world record like that – I’d done a marathon before and I’m fiercely competitive with myself more than anyone else. I was thinking I could change my trainers every mile and be the person that ran the London Marathon in the most number of shoes. We spoke to Nike about it and they were like, ‘of course we can support you with shoes if you want, but we very strongly recommend you do not do that.’ Running a marathon is hell on your feet as it is, so if I do it in 26 pairs of new shoes, I’ll likely lose a toe.’

What’s your studio soundtrack?
‘We were playing a lot of Jimmy Hendrix and Led Zeppelin this season getting ready for LFW and I watched tons of documentaries about the GTOs and all the original groupies. Music definitely informs a lot of what I do. We’re always working on the show soundtrack as we go, every season we change the girl, the muse, a little bit, so she kind of evolves with the different music taste each time as I get into her headspace.’

How do you relax after a show?
‘It was very low key this season. When everything was over I went to the pub with all my friends and family and just got a massive pile of pizzas.’

Image: House Of Holland SS15

You used to be a journalist, what was your biggest scoop?

‘Blinging Or Minging! It was a weekly feature I did, basically a critique of the best dressed celebs of the week, but with the headline ‘Blinging Or Minging’ – very Heat Magazine. It was for a teen mag called Sneak – I worked on the fashion desk there, before Smash Hits and Bliss too.’

Why did you decide to become a designer?
‘There was no grand master plan to get away from magazines, I just started making t-shirts for a laugh and they took off. I absolutely loved magazines and I still do. I don’t miss it because it’s so long ago now, but I definitely did miss it when I left it.’

‘Because I’ve seen it from both sides, I definitely have a more open mind about how that works alongside my business. I used to be the fashion editor that Topshop wouldn’t lend samples to because they didn’t want to be in my magazine!’

What’s your karaoke song?
‘Mel C and Bryan Adams, When You’re Gone. I do that one with Pixie [Geldof] a lot. I’m the worst singer in the world though, maybe I should stick to songs with no words. Or try rap?’

What was the last holiday you went on?
‘The last holiday I went on was to Majorca – not Magaluf though, nice Majorca – with Katie Hillier and her boyfriend Patrick Grant, and my boyfriend. I did very, very little except lounge by the pool.’

What was on your last credit card bill?
‘Clothes, clothes clothes. And a sofa. We don’t do menswear at House of Holland yet, so I’m still allowed to buy other things, thank God. Liberty is my go-to spot. That’s actually where the sofa came from too, so yeah, they basically own me.’

What are you addicted to on TV?
‘Downton, and Educating The East End. I was obsessed with Educating Yorkshire, and the East End version did not disappoint.’

Image: House Of Holland SS15

What’s your most prized possession?
‘My Interview Magazine cover with Debbie Harry, illustrated by Rich Bernstein and signed by Andy Warhol and Truman Capote. Yes, really! I collect them, so I’ve got about 15 and that’s my latest one. I got it from Fashion Illustration Gallery quite recently and I’m so excited to own it.’

What subject do you wish you paid more attention to at school?

‘Business Studies. No one warned me that that’s basically what I would end up doing! Maybe I should have done an A Level in it or something, but I suppose I’ve done alright without it, haven’t I?’

Henry Holland has designed a bespoke charm for Stand Up To Cancer, a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, available to buy now from shop.standuptocancer.org.uk

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