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One of London Fashion Week’s youngest talents, Simone Rocha has become a seemingly unstoppable force since she unveiled her first collection for fall 2010 at London Fashion Week. In December, she scooped up the Emerging Talent Award at the 2013 London Fashion Awards, and is a recipient of the British Fashion Council’s NewGen catwalk sponsorship, sponsored by Topshop.
This story first appeared in the March 26, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Rocha’s collections are a mix of classic and avant-garde: Her fall line was a riff on Elizabeth I as warrior queen, complete with snakeskin-printed leathers, amber beading and thick, dramatic ruffles. For spring there were scuba mesh and organza dresses and faux-pearl embellished knee socks. (Later this year she will introduce two capsule collections for J Brand.) Stockists include Dover Street Market, Saks Fifth Avenue, Le Bon Marché, Ikram, Opening Ceremony and Selfridges.
“I’m trying to create a whole world, a feeling and a strong identity,” said Rocha. “I always want to move on and push each collection forward with the fabrication, the refinement and the creativity.”
The daughter of Dublin-based designer John Rocha and his wife Odette, Rocha showed her first collection the same year that she graduated from the master’s program at Central Saint Martins. (She also has a B.A. in fashion from The National College of Art and Design in Dublin.) Asked previously about the challenges of having a successful parent already in the business, Rocha told WWD: “Growing up, I was superaware of the industry — I feel really lucky to have been a part of it — and my father has always been very supportive.”
She also credits Louise Wilson, course director of the master’s degree in fashion design program at Central Saint Martins, with her evolution. “She always encouraged me to create my own identity,” said Rocha.