Simone Rocha is a hot name from London that has such a nice ring to it, it seems like a brand name that has been tossed around for ages. But instead, Simone is a young 26 year old who JUST finished her MA at Central St Martins and is already well aquainted with the likes of Grace Coddington and all of the biggest fashion publications. She has only produced a few seasons worth of clothes, but EVERY review has been nothing short of glowing.
“Wonderful”, “perfect”, “lovely”, “excellent” are some of the words you see thrown in…. I mean, it’s almost disgusting how well her collection is being perceived by the fashion critics! Can one designer really do so well so young? How much is she paying them??
Well, the truth might suck even more….because at 26 years old her collections are GOOD and they keep getting better. I was introduced to her brand through these photos:
Eriko Nakao in Simone Rocha
She mixes a lot of inorganic textiles like PVC with organic ones like wool and presents them in a mash of girlie girl meets tomboy smoothie. She really broke out with her perspex shoes and neon lace pieces from her past collection.
Case in point on her success, her first stockist in London was Dover Street Market. She is also available in Colette, 10 Corso Como, Opening Ceremony IT in Hong Kong and now Dover Street Market in Ginza. She was here on a short trip and lucky me having good friends in Dover places, got to sit down for an interview and see her pieces there.
Mrs. Rocha (left) , me, Simone Rocha (right)
Q.What’s it like to be a young designer in London?
A.It’s great to be a young designer in London! I moved from Ireland to get my masters there and the education is so good. You’re allowed to be super creative but at the same time you get to be put on the same pedestal as the established designers. I even got to show in the same tent as my dad (veteran designer John Rocha). We also have all of these programs that support young talent, like Newgen which I won.
Q.You use a lot of plastic, but do you consider yourself a futurist?
A. I don’t think it is futurism at all, I actually am more attracted to classic pieces since they are what excite me. Take the pea coat for example; I love to take these masculine pieces and make them feminine somehow. My aesthetic is clean, and not necessarily part of futurism.
Q.How do you handle putting on shows and also designing a clothing line along with bags and shoes, too?
A. I have a very tight team. I am lucky because I can design and then show it to my one design assistant and then I also have a textile assistant. I work with a couple ateliers in italy who make my products, and of course my mother in Ireland who has decades more experience than me in the industry.
I am very meticulous about my shows, since I design the shoes and bags myself too. I always have a story to tell. In this way ,I tend to work with the same team since my MA show, including my stylist and hair and makeup people. They understand me and my “girl”.
Q. Speaking of your muse, does your girl actually exist?
A. Se’s an amalgam of many different people. She’s a little bit me, a little bit my mother, maybe a little bit of my friend Claire or perhaps a cool girl I see on the street…. in te end, it’s about taking a sweetness and cutting it with something stronger.
Q.And what was the reference point for your latest collection?
A. I looked at a group of kids called the pony kids in ireland, and the photographs that documented them by Perry Ogden.
Q. How do you feel about your selection available here in DSM ginza, and do you have any collaborations or new projects planned?
A. I am so happy with DSM Ginza’s “buy” of my collection because there’s enough wearable pieces to choose from, but also a few experimental, more challenging pieces too. I really couldn’t be happier as a designer! And as for projects, well I have some collaborations in the works but I can’t say anything yet!