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Is it a mag, is it a bag? No, it’s a Bagazine!

BY STYLE EDITOR, ON 26 FEB 2010 14:14 H! BY HENRY HOLLANDCOMMENTS

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Natelle Baddeley, head of women’s accessory design at Debenhams gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Henry Holland’s first accessories and swimwear collection.

Life just hasn’t been the same since January 2009. That was the time I started working with Henry Holland on his H! accessories line for Debenhams you see. Barely a year on, Henry has become a big part of my daily working life and I love every minute of it!

Our first design meetings were quite proper, as things should be when you begin to work with a designer but I instantly warmed to Henry. A month or so later, Henry mentioned his love for Electric Youth magazine, a fun fanzine that used bold colour blocking and interesting fonts on it’s covers. Henry continued the meeting by making up ludicrous magazine names and before I knew it I was in absolute stitches joining in the game. The ice was truly broken.

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The giant ‘E’ from Electric Youth logo became the inspiration for his own H! for Debenhams line, but that wasn’t all it inspired. While merrily discussing fake magazine slogans and how they could work on accessories, Henry had the idea for the ‘Bagazine’, which yep; you guessed it, is a cross between a bag and a magazine! Talk about fashion genius!

Henry recently confessed to me that he loves his Bagazine so much that it travels with him as it makes a great wash bag but maybe he wants to keep that one quiet, whoops. At the press day we gave away a limited number of ‘Bagazines’ to select members of the press which went down very well and ended up with the Bagazine being covered on fashion blogs the following morning.

Bringing Henry’s vision to life means being inside his head, which believe me is a fun place to be for the day. Henry tells me what he wants, for example a certain size of laptop cover, a media case, a ‘borrowed boyfriend’ style flat boot or some colourful zip-front, sky-high heels, printed sunnies for Glastonbury girls, the list goes on. We then create sketches and mood boards and from there we’ll plan our sampling and buying trips abroad. Henry comes into the office every week to catch up with us; sometimes he brings in vintage samples for inspiration or different ideas that he’s had when he’s been out and about. Henry is so funny, he insists on trying most of the samples on, well with the exception of swimwear!

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When Henry asked Pixie Geldof if she would model our lookbook we were all delighted. She’s a very special friend of Henry’s and he couldn’t wait to see her in the collection. Pixie loved the range and on the day of the shoot had fun stacking the colourful bangles and watches up her arms. It was one of the most fun shoots I’ve been on since working at Debenhams and it was fantastic seeing the collection come to life on a girl who herself was a big inspiration for the collection.

The range has been launched in store and online and the response has been really good. I can’t wait for the next collection of swimwear to arrive in stores which should be soon. Before you ask, yes we are working on a new ‘Bagazine’ design and we also ran a competition via the blog and social media to give customers the opportunity to have their face printed on a ‘Bagazine’ just like Henry. The winners’ bag is going to be in store in the Autumn! It’s been a busy year working with Henry but believe me, this is just the beginning.

Natelle

Head of women’s accessory design

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