Henry Holland has admitted he was “not so proud” of his home county after the results of the EU referendum were announced in June last year.
The British designer, who grew up in Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester, “felt gutted” that 54% of voters there wanted the UK to break away from the European Union.
Holland told HuffPost UK: “There is a big part of me that feels the sentiment of it is quite sad, that our nation would rather turn and move away from something than stick with a community.”
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Voters in Bury, one of Greater Manchester’s ten local authorities, which has a population of 181,900, backed the successful leave campaign by a margin of 8,320 votes, with 54,674 votes in total to leave the European Union.
This was in stark contrast to Holland’s adopted home of Hackney, in East London, where people voted overwhelmingly in favour of remaining at 78.5% of the vote.
In fact, Hackney was the third highest remain win in the UK, eclipsed only by Lambeth in South London and Gibraltar, something which the 34-year-old is keen to point out.
In the lead up to polling day, Holland was vocal in his remain support, as were many other celebrities, and took to social media to encourage his followers to do the same.
It is important to understand the bubble…”
He said: “I think that was very important for me as a Londoner and a business person to express how I felt to my following…the social media generation has come so much more politicised because they’re exposed to the views of their peers when they weren’t in the past.”
A year on from the results, in the same week that a survey showed Britain’s financial situation has worsened in the first half of 2017, as higher inflation begins to bite with Brexit looming, Holland is still feeling the repercussions.
“[The vote] has highlighted the different between certain cities and rural areas…it just highlighted the bubble that we live in, and it is very important to understand the bubble,” he said.
And Holland doesn’t plan on stopping at Brexit, and wants to discuss world politics too, he said: “Now more so than ever it is becoming harder and harder to maintain that stance [of neutrality] because there are so many things you want to say and get behind and so many causes you want to support and work with.”
But in spite of his open approach to politics online, and first being propelled into the limelight with his take on Katherine Hamnett’s 1987 political slogan t-shirt, Holland has drawn the line in getting political with his own products.
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Holland, whose House of Holland brand is currently collaborating with Cadbury’s on a capsule collection, said: “As a general rule we’ve always maintained that is Katherine’s thing and consciously stayed away from that.
“Our t-shirts were always just a fun commentary on the industry and the tone of them was always something very important, positive and supportive and me professing my admiration for different people. I used them for was a very different message to Katherine, and that’s how I choose to stay.”
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