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Simone Rocha

Fresh from her label’s first solo show at LFW, the daughter of John Rocha tells Graeme Moran she was destined to be a designer.

After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2010, you showed your debut collection as part of Fashion East. How did that come about?

I showed in the Central Saint Martins MA show during London Fashion Week and Lulu Kennedy [founder of Fashion East, which supports emerging talent] was at the show. A few weeks later I got a call asking if I’d be interested in being a part of Fashion East. Yes please!

How did that help you?

The support from Fashion East was amazing, coming straight out of college to having that support was invaluable. To have the platform to show on schedule at London Fashion Week so soon after graduating was a huge help.

You held your first solo show for spring 12 at London Fashion Week. How was that?

Good, I’m delighted. I had something to say with the collection and took the opportunity to say it. It’s a further exploration of femininity and contrasting of textures. The key pieces are the plastic and lace crombie, the green net dress and the trapped three-layer lace dress. And the shoes.

How did your recently launched collaboration with Topshop come about?

Topshop saw the headdresses from my MA collection and asked if I’d be interested in doing a limited edition run of them for their Oxford Street store. I believe after that first collaboration they wanted to keep working together. The latest collaboration is about taking the signature of modern tailored pieces but making them feminine and youthful because of the fabrication. A modern romance with a tough edge.

What effect did studying at Central Saint Martins have on you?

It made me realise that the industry is really difficult and you need to be true to your own identity and work really hard. It gave me a thick skin.

As the daughter of designer John Rocha, you’ve always been surrounded by fashion. Did you always want to work in the industry? I’ve been around fashion my whole life, from living in Milan in a Moses basket as a baby to working in my dad’s studio since I was 11, so it was always on the cards. Although my parents wanted me to do fine art.

How would you sum up your typical stockist?

I’m very lucky to be in stores such as Colette in Paris, RA in Antwerp and IT in Hong Kong. They are more conceptual stores which I think value interesting new brands.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

Hopefully in London, still in my studio, making, showing, creating and selling clothes internationally. Wouldn’t that be nice! 

  • Simone Rocha is designer of the eponymous womenswear and footwear label

Quickfire questions

Your heeled brogue has been very popular. Where did the idea come from?

It was about taking something classic and developing it into something modern and ladylike.

What was your biggest-ever fashion splurge?

It was a gift – a floral-print neoprene Balenciaga jacket.

Who are your three favourite designers?

John Rocha, Comme des Garçons and Balenciaga.

And your favourite shops?

10 Corso Como in Milan is amazing, Joyce in Hong Kong, Colette in Paris, Dover Street Market in London and the markets in Nice, France.

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