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john rocha retires as the king of catwalks

THE Irish fashion world is in shock after design king John Rocha revealed that he is quitting the catwalk for good.

The renowned designer is saying goodbye to high end fashion after announcing his retirement from London Fashion Week (LFW).

It will mark an end of an era for Rocha who has been a staple designer at the world famous fashion weeks for 30 years.

A firm favourite with the fashion elite, Rocha's designs will be missed from the runways with some of Ireland's up and coming fashionistas, including model of the moment Thalia Heffernan and presenter and stylist Angela Scanlon admitting their disappointment at the news.

Fashion whiz Scanlon, currently working on RTE/BBC travel series Getaways, is a big fan of Rocha's work and will miss checking out his latest catwalk designs.

"What an incredible man and designer who has made an enormous contribution," she said of the Hong Kong born fashion power house.

Ranelagh teenager Thalia Heffernan has fond memories of walking the catwalk in the Dublin based designers top threads at the tender age of 16.

"It's crazy," said the model, who is currently in London shooting for the new Littlewoods campaign. The 19-year-old spent yesterday working in the exclusive Big Sky Studios in central London.

"The last time I was here, I was doing LFW for John Rocha in 2011," she said.

Rocha (60), is moving away from high end, luxurious women's clothing, but will continue to collaborate with Waterford Crystal, high Street store Debenhams and eyewear retailer Specsavers.


One of the stand-out names at the bi-annual London Fashion Week, Rocha is a firm favourite with models and bonafide fashionistas, including MTV starlet Laura Whitmore, who wore one of his most recent creations when she hosted the IFTAs last month.

The designer achieved critical acclaim for his autumn/winter 2014 collection which was debuted at LFW three months ago.

While he is taking a step back, the creations of another well-known Rocha will continue on the catwalk.

His daughter Simone Rocha (27), has established herself as one of the world's most exciting new design talents and is a regular at the prestigious fashion shows.