I recently met, and shared a couple of glasses of champers with Holly Ashe, the designer and co-creater behind the luxury brand, Herecy. Showcasing a line of fashion-forward harnesses - born to be worn as both outer and under-wear - it's a brand that really pushes the boundaries. I caught up with Holly for a quick Q&A...
1. Did you always know you wanted to be a designer from the go?
‘Not at all. I'm a trained musician, in vocals and bass guitar, but I've always had an interest in fashion, whether it was mainstream or not, and have written about fashion for a few years, but designing? No, it was almost by accident. I had to quit my job as a waitress while studying music as I was ill, and got very bored very quickly, so decided to start sewing custom bras for some alternative models and burlesque dancers I know, then I started designing, making more elaborate pieces that would push the boundaries a bit. I'm all about being different.’
2. What courses did you take - or are you self-taught?
‘I'm self-taught, I took a 3 hour sewing class from Groupon once to learn how to use a sewing machine, but that's it. I watched my mother a lot when I was a kid, she sewed incredible dresses for me and my sister, so there is defiantly influence, but no formal education.’
3. What designers inspire you any why?
‘Sorapol is incredible, he thinks out of the box while keeping it classy and sophisticated. Ivana Pilja too, I think their originality really inspires me, even though neither design lingerie. But they push their creativity to limits not seen in the fashion world before. I admire that.’
4. Are you particularly trend-led as a designer?
‘I'm not sure, there is a lot of strappy lingerie out there, but I didn't start because of that, I started because I wanted something different and versatile to wear while enhancing women's bodies and confidence. I suppose I'm more people led?!’
6. If you could have a celebrity, model or musician as the FACE of Herecy - who would it be and why?
‘Dita von Teese! She oozes sex appeal, sophistication and she is my biggest idol in life. More of a crush thing then a business thing. Is that bad?’
7. What designer collections for AW14 and SS15 are you loving right now?
‘Valentino SS15 was just dreamy! One of each please! Victoria Beckham AW14 too, that woman is too talented.’
8. Alexander Wang x H&M not long ago hit stores, if you could collaborate with a high-street store who would it be and why?
‘Agent Provocateur, what an honour that would be. I'm not a huge fan of the high street, but they are a huge exception! They have that naughty streak but still keep it high fashion. That's difficult to do.’
9. Herecy was recently featured in Vogue - what do you see for the future of the brand - where would you like it to go?
‘Right now, I'm at the beginning of the journey, and there are so many routes to take, it’s daunting and exciting at the same time. I'm working with a couple of stylists for some more possible big publications, I'd like to see some pieces on some celebs soon, but the biggest and most exciting thing I am working on right now is Menswear! I'm really looking forward to releasing it -I am in love with it! It's so scary though, because I'm not sure how people will take it. It’s very different, but I think it will work.’
10. Where would you love to see Herecy stocked?
‘Selfridges! (Is that too high to dream?) That's the dream, or my own store, that would be incredible!’
11. Who would you like to see out and about rocking your work?
‘Cara Delevingne would rock Herecy, Oh, and so would Scarlett Johansson, could you imagine that figure in Herecy?’
12. What's your own personal style like?
‘A lot of my wardrobe is black, I don't tend to go for colours, but every now and then something comes along and I go crazy for it. I have a Shadowplay space dress that is bright, and a couple of flamingo tops (I'm obsessed with flamingos) but everything else is black dresses that have a hint of vintage to them.’
13. Do you think the brand will branch out into other accessories or staples?
‘It may go into more actual bras and knickers, but right now, we're ok, I have ideas, but that's all they are right now. Our feet are just touching down so I don't my mind to stray and lose control.’
14. And a curveball....your wardrobe is burning down, and you've got 5 seconds to grab three things. What do you grab?
‘My wedding shoes (5 3/4inch platforms covered in purple glitter with purple ribbon) My Shadowplay dress and my Vivienne Westwood earrings I got as an anniversary present from my husband.’
All images are sourced from Herecy
All images are sourced from Herecy