News & Runway

Interview: Ollie Henderson on Fashion Week, Human Rights and Her New Collection

Not only is Ollie Henderson one of Australia’s top models, the green-eyed beauty is also pushing touchy social and political issues through her label House of Riot’s range of controversial designs.

Catching up with the well-known model and budding fashion designer just a couple of days ahead of MBFWA 2015, we found out what she’s got in store for the week, upcoming plans for her social activist label, and her stand on human rights issues, including same-sex relationships and feminism.

Having a few fashion weeks already under her belt, Ollie explained to us that fashion week is whipped together pretty late in the piece. “Everything’s so last minute for fashion week,” she tells theFashionSpot. “I feel like you can never really count that you’re in a show until you’ve walked it as well, things are so subject to change,” she continues, mentioning that she doesn’t even know which designers she’s walking for yet.


A photo posted by @houseofriot on

It’s probably the last thing on her mind, especially seeing as she’s trying to meet the customer orders of House of Riot while also balancing her modelling day job. Not a bad turnout considering her slogan shirts, saying things like “Reject Racism” and “Sexism Sucks”, were only ever meant to be a protest of sorts.

“It started last year at Australian fashion week and it was never meant to be a label or run anything more than just the week,” she explains, telling us that she made 100 shirts for friends and colleagues to wear during MBFWA 2014. “Out of that, it just got so much press worldwide,” she says. As a result she’s got stockists locally and in New York, working away hand painting every shirt to make a positive social change through fashion.

There are definitely issues, explored throughout her collection, which she feels extra strong about too. “I can never really take off the feminist lens, or, you know, myself being queer, LGBTIQ issues are always sort of pretty up there with me,” she explains. “Human rights generally is my stand.”


A photo posted by @houseofriot on

Now she’s got a new collection coming out, released just today, which is going beyond just the slogan tees with custom one-off pieces and epic chain detailing. “The theme of this range is imprisonment,” Ollie explains to us. “We kind of wanted to discuss social imprisonments, racial imprisonment, gender-based imprisonment.”

If you want to help start the riot, you can get amongst the new collection here. We’re eyeing the chain pants for winter.