LONDON — Simone Rocha is poised to open her first store on Mount Street in London’s Mayfair, a controlled explosion of white, pink and plastic flowers, undulating shapes and Perspex angles.
The sunlit, 1,500-square-foot space at 93 Mount Street spans two floors, and will open quietly on Saturday, with a party planned for September.
During a walk-through, Rocha said she sees the store as “very me, an extension of the studio, a personal space that cements my ID and how I feel about femininity today.” She also set out to be playful — but still impart a sense of luxury.
The designer’s latest collection was inspired by Louise Bourgeois, and her clothes and accessories have a dreamy, surreal quality with lots of organic shapes. Her work is often textured and embellished with pearls, tapestry patterns, fluff and long goat’s hair.
Rocha said she is pleased that customers can finally see all of the details — the pearl-cluster brooches, embellished headbands, flocked scarves and her signature brogues, with their transparent Perspex heels, up close.
Rocha worked closely with her father, the designer John Rocha. She said he has always had a gift for how to make a space — even a small one — look big and inviting.
There are other reminders of her family there, such as the oversize, framed Parisian mirror from 1900 that leans against the wall near the ground-floor dressing room, and the Francis Bacon triptych downstairs, which her family bought over a decade ago.
The curved marble cushion seats were designed by John Rocha and made in Ireland earlier this year.
The tightly knit family — Rocha runs the business with her mother Odette — is about to get bigger, as the designer is expecting her first baby in November.
The store is also dotted with Rocha’s own vintage market finds, such as the two chalk-white Joe Colombo Sixties chairs downstairs, which she found in Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat. The oversize bell jar — a shiny glass display case Rocha calls “the big boob” — was plucked from Clignancourt in Paris.
Most of the fixtures and furniture are new, however.
In her bid to mix classic with the modern, Rocha designed the cornices, which are adorned with clusters of flowers and repeating egg shapes. “I wanted the cornicing to look crusty, rich and floral. It’s classic and weird at the same time. Things are not what they seem,” she said.
Rocha stripped back the store to its original features, revealing classical columns and lots of natural light. A conservatory space downstairs lets even more in, and the back door leads straight to Mount Street Gardens. The space had previously been a Stephen Webster jewelry store.
The ground-floor window is currently filled with a big blob of an installation covered in Rocha’s beloved pink flowers, which have been made from mercerized cotton hand-stitched onto plastic.
The installation reflects the mood and details of her fall collection and it will change with the seasons.
The color pink also pops on the small, curving resin display tables, the big onyx desk downstairs that serves as the cash register, and the spongy Neoprene shopping bags with their O-shaped handles.
Rocha has also filled her new space with collaborations and work by other artists and designers: She worked with Janina Pedan on the metal display cage that’s on the ground floor and the steel, mesh, plastic, and cotton flower installation in the window.
The beeswax and acrylic glass sculptures on display are by Ren Ri, while the chalky pearl-dripping chandelier that hangs over the staircase is by the Los Angeles artist Pae White.
Rocha has done a handful of one-off exclusives for the store, including flat cookie-shaped pouches on display downstairs.
Rocha is the latest young London fashion name to move into the neighborhood: Christopher Kane opened his Mount Street shop in February, joining Roksanda Ilincic and Nicholas Kirkwood.
In the next few weeks, Erdem Moralioglu plans to open his first stand-alone store around the corner on South Audley Street, designed by P. Joseph, the London-based architecture and design practice.
Rocha said she likes the contrast of having a studio in Hackney, in East London, and a store on the hot Mayfair street. “Mount Street has such an old school English vibe and at the same time it feels pioneering and international. I love Delfina (Delettrez’s) shop, and I wear her jewelry.”
She also said she’s “honored” to be across the street from Marc Jacobs — her former boss. “I love the fact that the shop is opposite his. I interned for him,” said the designer.