Monday 27 February 2017

Simone Rocha expecting her first child (and also moving house, showing at LFW and opening a new store)

Elaine McCahill

Simone Rocha
Simone Rocha
Fashion designer Simone Rocha
Simone Rocha, SS/15
John Rocha with his daughter Simone and wife Odette. Photo: Kieran Harnett
Singer Rihanna in Simone Rocha

Designer Simone Rocha is pregnant with her first child.

The Ranelagh native is due in November, but there's no rest for the award-winning designer ahead of the baby's arrival.

Within the coming weeks she is showing her spring summer '16 collection at London Fashion Week, officially launching her first stand-alone store in Mayfair and also moving into a new house.

Her store is on London's Mount Street next to the likes of Marc Jacobs and Celine, and she said she was "super thrilled" to have a permanent space.

Fashion designer Simone Rocha
Fashion designer Simone Rocha

Read more: Meet the 11 Irish designers heading to London Fashion Week

"This is a bricks-and-mortar of my identity and my inspirations and my research, and if anything it makes me feel more creative - whereas after a show you feel totally depleted," she said.

"It just gives the whole collection a sense of place."

While some have said she is quite young to open a store, Simone said it "cements" her vision.

John Rocha with his daughter Simone and wife Odette. Photo: Kieran Harnett
John Rocha with his daughter Simone and wife Odette. Photo: Kieran Harnett

She has also collaborated with artists and designers on creating pieces for the store - including her father, John Rocha (inset), who designed two marble seats for the shoe room.

Never one to rest on her laurels, she is already planning the window display for her new collection in the New Year.

"And, in between, I have to have a child.

Read more: Irish designer to the stars Simone Rocha to open London store

Singer Rihanna in Simone Rocha
Singer Rihanna in Simone Rocha

"So I have to think of all these things now," she said.

Simone also said her new collection was set to be a lot more "rebellious" than previous ones.

"Because of having the confidence of having the shop, and the statement that this is my identity, I felt I could be very free with the coming collection," she told the New York Times.

The 28-year-old has had enormous success since her debut collection five years ago, and celebrities such as Rihanna, Beyonce and Keira Knightley have sported her threads.

Read more: FIRST LOOK: Simone Rocha x J Brand jeans collection

She credits her family, as well as Louise Wilson - the late Central Saint Martins college professor - with guiding her through her career.

"There's been some people in my life that really were very driven, like my family and like Louise, and that gave me a lot of determination," she said.

"They've always been like, 'It's all about your identity, and who you are, and what you want to say'."


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