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Bright young thing: Jade Holland Cooper

12:48 19 September 2012

Bright young thing: Jade Holland Cooper

Bright young thing: Jade Holland Cooper

Meet the young fashion tycoon from Elmsett

Tweed merchant

Jade Holland Cooper, from Elmsett, near Hadleigh, founded Holland Cooper four years ago while she was studying at the Royal Agricultural College. Her collection of strong, sexy,
urban chic country wear edgy, high fashion luxury tweed jackets, skirts and accessories quickly became a favourite of well heeled under-25s, most famously the Channel 4 Made in Chelsea cast. Now shes branching out into new, more mature and international markets, launching her complete range for him and for her into Harrods this autumn.

Jade was born and brought up on the family farm and stays close to her rural roots. Her clothing still designed and cut from British cloth in the studio at Elmsett and she is determined that as much as possible will always be made in the UK.

Its been a busy four years since you started Holland Cooper and we last featured you in Suffolk magazine whats been happening?

The company has come on leaps and bounds. I developed it for the under-25s market when I was at uni the little tweed ra-ra skirts. We still do them, we havent lost sight of that, but Ive seen that theres more of a market for over-25s, both mens and womens.

One of the biggest developments is our route to market, which until now has only been via the country shows. Were now selling wholesale in the UK, Hong Kong, America and Germany.

We launched our Gold Label collection, a more exclusive range using ostrich skin and racoon fur, four months ago and its selling well. Were also about to launch a range of skiwear in Verbier and weve designed a range of shoes and luggage.

Our celebrity recognition has grown. We dress Peter Jones for his charity golf and shoot events he auctioned a suit for 12,000 Vic Reeves, actor Mark Strong, equestrian commentator Steven Wilde and, of course, the Made in Chelsea cast.

And weve got involved with polo weve formed a sister company with former England team captain Henry Brett and were sponsoring England player James Morrison.

It sounds as though theres a more serious side to your clothing ranges now. Do you think people are returning to quality and classic design?

Definitely. Our jackets are investment pieces. All our tweed clothing is individually hand cut, designed and made entirely in Great Britain. People want quality clothing they want a jacket that will last a lifetime and theyre prepared to pay for it. Weve shown that a tweed jacket doesnt have to be a fusty old thing worn only in the country. Many of my clients are based purely in the city, from London to New York, buying Holland Cooper tweed for fashionable events world wide.

Youre a successful young person in business. How have you done it and what do you do to encourage others?

Ive worked 20-hour days, seven days a week! But its paying off. Harrods is a huge step in terms of recognition that were doing something right. The fashion industry isnt easy and theres a lot to learn. Yourre dealing with people double your age and you have to command some sort of authority. I have recently engaged a mentor, a very experienced person from the industry whos already making such a difference and has taught me things I simply couldnt have known otherwise.

I run an internship scheme for young people. Its really difficult to get into the fashion industry without experience, but how do they get that without someone giving them an opportunity?

Where do you see yourself in ten years time?

Its not just about career and making money. I do want to be happily married with a family and I hope to get to a stage when I can do that while someone else runs the company.

I want to set myself up so I can have the life I grew up with, and to do that I have to work hard, be independent and stand on my own two feet. I want Holland Cooper to be an internationally recognised label thats the goal.


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