A few months ago I saw all these amazing statement tees being worn by off duty models to and from shows at Fashion Week in Sydney and thought oh what a cool idea. I started looking into it a little bit more and saw that one of our very own Melbournians started a movement called 'House Of Riot'. Model Ollie Henderson is a pretty lady of many talents. I'm intrigued by her versatile looks in shoots and runways and have so much respect for her after seeing her create this concept to spread important messages for issues in our world today.
Racism is something that I've dealt with on a personal level and have made it a key issue on the blog as of late when it comes to fashion. Most of it's ignorance. Sometimes people say things and don't even know it can be offensive. We've seen in major sporting events and online viral videos on the trains in Melbourne. Growing up I saw a certain type of model/look used in the Media. Which I thought was odd as we lived in such a multicultural country. I could never relate to any of it and thought there must be others out there that think the same thing. Its one of the reasons Everyday Like This started. I love the Reject Racism tee from the collection and can't wait to check out the stockists in New York when I'm there next month so I can Join The Riot. Check out the interview below with the lovely Ollie herself !!
Tell us a little about yourself? I'm 23 and live between NY, Sydney and London and have been working as a model for the past 7 years. Outside of modeling I play music, make art and have a keen interest in physics and politics.
Describe your style?Space punk!
How did you get into modeling?I was bought up in a really small country town two hours form Melbourne. The idea of modeling was so far removed from my reality you wouldn't believe. I was scouted whilst shopping for my year 10 formal dress with my Mum, we made a special trip to Melbourne to get something nice and someone approached me in the shopping centre. It all happened really quickly after that, I was in Milan within 6 months.
How was walking for Di$count Universe at MBFWA this year? I was so excited to be walking this show. I haven't told them this but I have actually been a fan for a couple of years and have been following their progress. Cami, one of the designers, contacted me before fashion week and asked if she could wear a t-shirt; I was so flattered. The show was brilliant, it felt great to be working with new Australian talent. I don't think anyone could feel bad when your draped in head to toe sequins.
I loved seeing models wear your bold statement tees at fashion week. Why did you choose MBFWA to start the movement of House of Riot?It was an obvious choice for me, fashion is where I have lived my life thus far. Anyone at Fashion Week will tell you it's a media frenzy. Cameras 24/7! Really annoying if you are trying to chill between shows, but great if you want people to listen. I wore a t-shirt last year that said "Suck my Cervix", it got a lot of attention so I thought I could do the same with more serious issues.
How did The House of Riot start?The House of Riot started with the Start the Riot Project at Australian Fashion Week. It was really supposed to only run for Fashion Week but the project had such success that I was excited to work further on it. This came as a big shock to me, it received a lot of press, and a lot of international press, US Vogue, US Harpers Bazaar, French Elle, iD to name a few.
You hand make the tees is that correct?Yes, many hours into the early morning spend painting away.
Whats the aim of the House of Riot ?The aim of the House of Riot is to empower people. To encourage them to speak up, to use their voice and give a fuck about the world around us.
Hows the Project coming along?It's going well, a lot of work and a lot of reward. The project is so new that it's changing and growing everyday. I have started working with local and international designers, musicians and activists on new projects that will be released in the coming months.
How can we get involved?We have a website www.thehouseofriot.com that will be the hub of the House of Riot and a Facebook page where people can stay updated on the progresswww.facebook.com/thisisthehouseofriot.
We have also started a Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/starttheriotnow, this is a space where people can discuss current political issues and ways to get involved. House of Riot is now also selling the t-shirts from fashion week with 20% of profits going to charity. The first range is all about human rights and we are donating to Amnesty International.