5 Extraordinary Lessons From Fashion Designer Simone Rocha

simone-rocha-2_4840417Simone Rocha may not be a household name (yet), but you’ve definitely heard of her dad, John Rocha, designer and fashion extraordinaire. Following in her father’s footsteps, Simone debuted her first collection in 2010 at London Fashion Week, aged 24.

She has since taken the fashion world by storm, her pieces stocked in Dover Street Market, Browns, Colette (Paris) and Bergdorf Goodman to name a few. Commended for her creativity, she has earned such accolades as Emerging Designer British Fashion Award and Young Designer of the Year at The Harper’s Women of the Year Awards 2014. Having been so successful in her career already, there is a lot we can learn from Simone’s work ethic.

Know what you’re good at

Simone has embraced what she’s good at and developed her own brand of fashion. She has even been applauded for having such a distinct sense of style in her creations for someone so young. This is a lesson we can all learn – know where your talents lie but don’t stop there, work hard and keep learning to continue improving yourself.

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Don’t let your background define you

Many people who have famous parents are scrutinised much more heavily than those who don’t; you only have to look at Miley Cyrus, Liv Tyler, Zoe Kravitz and Kate Hudson to name a few. Simone could have easily chosen another career path to avoid being in the shadow of her famous father, but she took to the same career that he has been so successful in. She hasn’t exactly followed in his footsteps but used what she’s learnt from him to create clothes that are original and develop her own ideas rather than copying John Rocha’s style.

You don’t have to go it alone

Simone’s dad is her favourite person and she cites her biggest influence as her mother, who Simone is in business with. Regarding the inspiration for one of her earlier collections, she said, “I’ve been thinking about my grannies. I went to Hong Kong and saw my Chinese granny, and then started thinking about my Irish granny, and that was the beginning of this collection.”. Ideas can come from anywhere (so carry a notebook!) and you don’t have to work alone – using the people around you for support will get you further than working away on your own.

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Your life isn’t emotionless

So your work shouldn’t be either. Simone likes to show the depth of emotion in her work; she explored the many aspects of love in her 2014 AW collection, from the vulnerable fragility of it to the aloof, harsh side. It can be so easy to think you have to shut off all of your emotions to get ahead, but your passion and what you put into your work is going to show through and define the outcome.

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Get your hands dirty

Simone doesn’t just come up with the ideas and tell people how to execute them; she gets involved with every step of the process. “I also do a lot of hand-knit and crochet in the studio; all of my collections have a little bit of handwork.” Don’t feel like a task is below you; mucking in and helping out others can build better work relationships and you can learn from it. Win-win.

By Genieve Crump