The retailer has supported Rocha’s brand since the beginning when she was fresh out of Central Saint Martins, and the two have been collaborating on installations, special capsules, and in-store events ever since.
“It’s such a special relationship. It’s a store I admired and have been inspired by ever since I was a teenager. I’ll never forget the first moment when Adrian [Joffe, Dover Street Market’s cofounder] brought Rei [Kawakubo] to see my collection. So, to grow with them and still be with them a decade later is incredible. It’s my home away from home, so we had to celebrate together,” said Rocha in an interview.
To mark the occasion, Rocha is adding her romantic, irreverent touch across the entire ground floor of Dover Street Market’s London outpost.
There’s an installation in the form of a stained glass house, or “our own church of Simone Rocha” as the designer calls it, featuring prints of stained glass all across and perspex roses, referencing the label’s fall 2021 Winter Roses collection.
Inside the church-cum-house is a mix of archive pieces from the past decade, as well as new fall 2021 pieces.
“We wanted to show that there’s a real thread throughout the work. It’s all about evolving, progressing, but also reflecting,” said the designer, who spent time looking back at the different installations she had created for Dover Street Market, and reflecting on her last decade in business.
“It’s been a visceral, emotional, and also stimulating journey. When you’re in it all the time you can get too caught up in things, but having the opportunity to go back made me feel proud and humbled by the last decade. But I also got this surge to go into the new and push forward.”
There will be a set of 10 limited-edition tablecloths to mark the occasion, and they’ll be displayed on the shop floor in a bid to create a homey, familial environment. That’s why Rocha brought in her brother Max Rocha to create warm, hearty food for the celebratory event she’ll be hosting at Dover Street Market on Wednesday.
“It’s this idea of family and friends breaking bread together,” added the designer, who has created exclusive shoes, embellished headbands and mini leather bags as part of the celebrations. They will be displayed all across the cabinets and plinths of the store’s ground floor space.
“Simone is a true pillar of Dover Street Market with spaces in every store, all around the world. We could not imagine a DSM without Simone,” said Dickon Bowden, vice president at DSM International, adding that the strength of Rocha’s work lies in its consistency and unhindered creativity.
“Creation is intrinsic to Simone’s work and woven into the fabric of everything that she does, coupled with a deep authenticity. By virtue of this, her work is one of constant evolution resulting in ever more beautiful and sublime creations.”
As well as celebrating her 10th year in business, Rocha is gearing up to host her first physical runway show in more than 18 months as part of London Fashion Week.
“The collection is a real balance of naivety and reality. I wanted to reflect on mothers and daughters and this idea of connectivity,” said the designer, who said she’s keen to get back to the physical show format.
“I’m really looking forward to the room, the smell, the light. It’s a real privilege being able to create that experience and take people somewhere else, even for a few minutes.”