In a first for an Irish fashion designer, London-based Simone Rocha has collaborated with the Swedish giant H&M, the second largest retailer in the world, on a atest designer collection to be launched next month.
The collection brings Rocha’s recognisable runway style, silhouettes and distinctive fabrications, to a broader audience at lower price points. It also marks the 10-year anniversary of her label and debuts a menswear and childrenswear range, opening her collection to the whole family.
“It has given me a real chance to celebrate how the brand has grown and it has allowed me to expand into areas that I have long been fascinated by,” said the designer.
All the familiar Rocha codes and signature details from her archives are there – the punkish tartans, delicate tulles and textured tweeds along with florals and pearl embellishments reimagined from previous collections.
The fabrics include cotton poplin for recalibrated trench coats, daisy broderie anglaise dresses, woven pink tinsel tweeds and of course her familiar pearl encrusted embroidery whether on an Aran sweater or on chunky brogues.
There are also sparkling chandelier earrings, headbands, neoprene bags and red marabou feather slippers.
“I hope it feels very recognisably Simone Rocha. I wanted it to be a versatile collection that can be mixed and matched in people’s own ways”, she said. Prices start at €6.99 for socks, with dresses and trench coats €179. Pearl-decorated brogues are the most expensive items at €249.
Celebrated for her modern femininity and consistent vision, with this collaboration Rocha joins a panoply of some of the biggest names in fashion, among them Stella McCartney, Comme des Garçons, Margiela, Lanvin and Versace, each of whom has produced once-off collections for H&M since November 2004, when Karl Lagerfeld was the first to do so.
This one, shrouded in secrecy, was due to debut in November, but was postponed because of the pandemic. It goes on sale online and in selected stores worldwide on March 11th.
Normally, the Irish H & M flagship in Dame Street would receive a portion of such designer collaborations which usually sell out quickly but under the present restrictions due to the pandemic, this cannot be confirmed.
Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M creative adviser, said: “Our goal with this collaboration is to present a designer that we really admire for a wider audience.”
The full collection and an interview with Rocha will feature in a forthcoming issue of the Saturday Irish Times magazine.