Purple Fashion — Simone Rocha

[November 8 2016] : Magazine

Simone Rocha

fashion designer, London 

interview by CAROLINE GAIMARI 
photography by HARRY CARR


CAROLINE GAIMARI — You show two times a year in London, but there is something about your collection that isn’t so “London.”
SIMONE ROCHA — I never really feel like my collection is very “London,” and I would say that even though we are here working out of East London, we could be anywhere. I love living here, my team is here, but when I do a collection, I don’t think about London. It would be the exact same collection if I showed in Paris or in New York or in Tibet.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — Is traveling an important part of your process?
SIMONE ROCHA — I really get inspired by traveling. My dad [fashion designer John Rocha] is from Hong Kong, so I go there at least once a year. That’s an unbelievably inspiring place to me. From the outside, it looks like a big flashy city. But when I go, I stay with my aunts and uncles there — all they do is gamble and eat. It’s quite hardcore! I like to watch the elderly people who are fully dressed up on the streets, and they look amazing, wearing clashing prints and getting their nails done. It’s not super-refined, but there’s an effort to look done up, which is wonderful to watch.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — Would you say that your native Ireland is an influence to you?
SIMONE ROCHA — I was born and bred in Dublin and moved to London eight years ago to do my MA [Master of Arts]. In Ireland, there are no hipsters and no trying to be cool. There is a passionate history filled with poetry and art, and people don’t take themselves too seriously. I go back to Ireland all the time. The landscape is so beautiful and rural. It’s an amazing place.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — You see a lot of Irish crafting influences in your collections.
SIMONE ROCHA — I crochet. I learned when I was a kid, and I would crochet loads in my dad’s studio. I am really into things being handmade. We do loads of our craftsmanship here, including our beading motifs and knitwear.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — Your collections seem solidly anchored between vintage and handmade and the technical and new.

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