Fashion Designer John Rocha


Big name department stores seem to be attracting an increasing number of notable fashion designers as both sides of the fashion coin see the mutual benefits of this friendship. The stores on the high street benefit from innovative new looks and the designers see the advantages of the huge audience and clientele of the high street. John Rocha who made a name for himself with the Chinatown label in Dublin in the 1980s is a perfect example of this symbiotic relationship.

Born in 1953 in Hong Kong of Chinese and Portuguese descent, John Rocha graduated from the Croydon School of Art in London then quickly moved to Dublin, Ireland where he started his career with the Chinatown label. The use of Irish linen during his studies inspired his move to the country which he still calls home. Since the very start of his career, John has endeavoured to develop and refine his own distinctive style born during his first years in Ireland and is still heavily inspired by fabric, silhouette and technique.

John launched 5 distinct ranges for British department store Debenhams under the name Rocha.JohnRocha in Autumn-Winter 2000 including menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, accessories and homes and living. His unique combination of Chinese and Celtic design as his main influences can be clearly seen throughout his collections and have been described as plain, simple and fluid but at the same time funky and wearable.

In addition to designing for Debenhams, John has designed specifically for celebrity clients such as Angelica Huston, Marianne Faithful and pop star Ronan Keating.

He has extended his design outside of clothing into interiors and home accessories. In 1997 the John Rocha at Waterford Crystal collection was successfully launched and in May 1999, the Morrison Hotel in Dublin was John’s first interior design project and is now one of Europe’s most popular hotels. Successes of projects outside the realm of fashion have lead John to also begin a jewellery line for women.

John has been twice awarded the prestigious British Designer of the Year title in 1994 and in 2002. He has also received the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in The Queen’s New Years Honours list.

After his publication, John Rocha, Texture, Form, Purity, Detail, an illustrated study of John’s design philosophy and influences, it is clear that there is no route of design that will be left unopened by this designer. His creations appeal to the masses as well as the elite and he has an eye for both while retaining his own creative look and being able to explore all the while. A designer to watch for in the future as well as learning from his past designs, it is lucky for us that we can continue to watch his growth through his easily accessible lines at Debenhams.

For more information please visit Rocha.JohnRocha

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Author: Uzumaki Naruto

"I want to see this market as a sharing market. Where merchants and customers sincerely support one another."

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