| 9.9°C Dublin

Cut from the same cloth...

"Are you sure that's what you want to do?" was Simone Rocha's father's response when she told him that she wanted to carve out a career in fashion.

Parents routinely challenge their children's career decisions. In this case, though, the father is celebrated fashion designer John Rocha, who can tell his daughter a thing or two about the fashion industry.

"I knew I always wanted to be creative and I knew I was going to go into something art- or design-based," she explains. "Fashion felt right for me." No doubt her father felt it too.

And so Simone attended the Irish fashion-design launch pad that is NCAD, where she earned an honours in fashion design.

She later spent summers interning in British Vogue magazine ("not half as scary as people think. I met Anna Wintour in Paris last season and she was very polite") and at Marc Jacobs in New York ("long hours and little or no sleep").

She went on to achieve an MA in Fashion Design in Central St Martin's, London. She continues to live and work in London but returns home once every two months.

When the children of VIPs follow their parents' chosen career path, our knee-jerk reaction is to compare their efforts and assume that it creates an enormous amount of pressure for the scion.


Simone's only concern is making her father proud. "If anything, the pressure is that I respect him so much that I'd like to keep going as long as he is."

At the tender age of 24, that already looks likely. She is only on her third collection and has secured the interest of the international fashion press, and is fast gaining a reputation as one to watch.

As for the comparisons, she and her father are, of course, cut from the same cloth, but their aesthetics are very different. Simone's look is edgier; more androgynous and playful. "It obviously comes from the same place but there are definitely two identities," she explains.

Simone likes to juxtapose masculinity and femininity, deconstruct tailoring and experiment with fabrics and materials.


She designs for a woman who has "personal style". "Someone who really appreciates the craft and wants to wear a beautiful piece that isn't trend-based," she explains. "Someone who is a little bit tomboyish."

If you'd like to see her designs for yourself, Simone is back in Dublin for a week to head up a pop-up shop selling her designs in Havana boutique, Donnybrook.

"I think Nikki [Creedon, owner] has beautiful labels and it's where I'm really happy to be."

The Simone Rocha pop-up shop is in Havana boutique, Donnybrook, from today until Monday, April 11. Prices are from €320 to €950, and accessories are from €60