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REVIEW: Are House of Holland Controversial?

The Verse’s Rosie Smith reviews House of Holland, and the ethos of the brand

House of Holland and their printed t-shirts could be seen as degrading to the individuals mentioned in the quotes featured on them. The quotes used are seen as inappropriate by many. Acting against the individuals that make up the fashion industry today. Said quotes could be interpreted as belittling of the individuals mentioned.

House of Holland has obviously used these inappropriate comments on purpose. They spark a reaction, and that is what majority of fashion designers aspire for. If they didn’t, they would not be successful in the industry. After House of Holland presented the t-shirts, people may have been against some of the quotes used, but, they were all talking about the brand. The show was remembered and impacted the industry, so can people really say anything negative about it? They were successful in what they aimed to do.

The release of these printed t-shirts presented a risk for the brand. Pre-release, the question, “How are the individuals featured going to re-act?” would have loomed over House of Holland. I believe that before the release those individuals would have been informed, but there was no guarantee. The individuals featured in the prints could have reacted badly to these comments.

However, from social media we can see that this wasn’t necessarily the case. Instagram posts of Kendal Jenner and Bella Hadid wearing the t-shirts that they feature on, allows for the understanding that they don’t have a big issue with the comments made about themselves. If they did, they would not agree to be featured in magazines supporting the garments.

My question is: “what if that wasn’t the result?” Would everyone talking about their show be better, and the individuals featured to be against it? How would the brand recover? Was that too big of a risk to take? One way you could look at this is by seeing how the fashion industry has changed; it is not as traditional as it used to be. The comments made by House of Holland may be the result of a new age in fashion.

If this had happened years ago the reaction may have been dramatically different than it is in the present day. It would have been an unexpected movement; a stand like this would not be similar to any other going on in the industry and would therefore, draw even more, mainly negative, attention than it does today. Nowadays the general public and the fashion industry are hit by untraditional and unbelievable actions constantly, making us immune to it. Unsurprised when it happens.

If the t-shirts had gone badly all the fashion icons featured and all their followings would turn against the brand. But, it didn’t, it could of but it didn’t. In my opinion one of the main reasons there wasn’t a huge reaction from the fashion industry is because not only women were featured in the quotes. Male and female icons were referred to, making it unlikely that a feminist, discrimination and degrading issue would arise.

Rather than the printed comments being discriminating, they are belittling and generally rude. It intrigues me how big of a risk House of Holland took and how they could have lost a lot. In the current day social media is such a large influence that if they did lose all of the combined following, the brand could have really struggled.



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