Henry Holland thinks of himself as a ''business person in fashion''.

The British fashion designer - who started his House of Holland label aged 23 - feels it's important to have a good head for figures when running a fashion brand as it is often more important than the clothes designed.

He explained to The Times newspaper: ''A huge part of owning a fashion label requires a business degree, not a fashion degree and you don't think about that when you're starting.

''You think, 'I'm going to make clothes and we'll sell them!' Then you get smacked in the face with trademarks and lawyers and contracts and tax and VAT.''

The designer feels his business acumen has helped prove naysayers wrong as House of Holland continues to be profitable after seven years of business.

He said: ''I think, yeah... we've been going for seven years and I don't think either myself or anyone in the industry thought I'd be around for longer than five minutes.''

Despite his success, Henry - who burst onto the scene with a series of slogan T-shirts which proved popular after his model friend wore them on the catwalk - admits the business started as a ''joke''.

He added: ''It was a mate wearing a T-shirt because he hadn't had time to change before his fashion show. It was friends of friends. I often say that I started my business as a joke. It sounds terrible, but it's kind of true.''