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Home Fashion Designers Special interview: We talked with Simone Rocha about H&M collaboration

Special interview: We talked with Simone Rocha about H&M collaboration

Simone Rocha: The Simone Rocha x H & M collection has enabled me to expand in two areas that I have long been fascinated with, such as menswear and children's wear. It's the first time I've had a collection offer that covers the whole family –which is very exciting. Simone Rocha's 10. in these days when we celebrate the year, the timing is quite special; naturally, it's time for us to stop and think... when creating this collection, we spent a lot of time looking back at the archive; the key styles, details and signatures that ensure our recognition. There are elements that followers of the brand will be familiar with, such as tulle dresses, flowers, plaid fabrics, Pearl decks, glittering earrings, Aran (island region in Ireland) style braids, trench coats and, of course, our signature shoes. Each piece in the collection (Woman-Man, adult-child) speaks to each other; it is like a single item, a single identity...so there are tulle dresses, tulle suits side by side, trench coats for both men and women, and miniatures of classic pieces for children.

Ann Sofie Johansson: One of the things that attracts us in our collaboration with Simone is that the original style of her brand, a clear perspective oluşu...Ve I feel that the Simone Rocha x H&M collection puts an emphasis on what Simone stands for. Volume, decorations, beautiful weavings, rare homemade pieces and, of course, jewelry. A really 10-year reunion…

Simone Rocha: I think Simone Rocha x H & M really makes Simone Rocha feel. We love the colour palette; creams, pinks and Reds. And we salute Ireland with knit sweaters that are very special to me. I spent a lot of time looking again at the first Neoprene Pearl Collection, which was featured in Spring/Summer 2014. When I first introduced the Neoprene Pearl, which is now my signature, in the Spring/Summer 2014 collection, I felt it was a moment when I was building my identity. I also wanted to look again at the Spring/Summer 2016 collection, which I was partly inspired by Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki and was my first fashion show at Lancaster House. And I also revisited the Autumn/Winter 2014 Anne Boleyn collection, the seersucker fabric plaid dresses in this collection and the Red Dolls collection in Spring / Summer 2018. I wanted to re-imagine the archive details. So it's not just’ re-editions', it's reinterpretation for our day.

Ann Sofie Johansson: One of the special things about H & M collaborations is that it gives designers a chance to rethink their signature and present their world to a whole new audience. 

Simone Rocha: Our focus in all our collections is that the pieces are long-lasting and can be mixed in different ways... this is the basis of this collection; tulle gowns are dresses; sweaters can be worn over shirts, socks are matched with clothing. Weavings have an important place in my brand, I wanted to make sure they still had a personal touch, an identity. As in the collections of Ana Simone Rocha, we showed the same care and attention to weaving in this collection. We have developed new versions of our signature tulles and ‘coupè’ dresses. And our fluffy clothes have been revealed in a new way. We also have neoprene pieces, woven tweed, cotton poplins, light quilts, perforated jumpers, embroidered blouses with floral patterns. As a detail, we focused on our signature floral motif and upgraded it, and of course there are also versions of my classic accessories, such as bows, jewelry, bags and Pearl mascara shoes. My collections are decidedly generational, which is a natural way for me to work. Hopefully we'll catch that diversity in this collection. There's a great youthful feel in pieces like the asymmetrical ruffled plaid short skirt/dress and beaded neoprene skirt. On the one hand, we have long fluffy dresses. I really like the idea of people of all styles dressing up from this collection.

Simone Rocha: The children's collection was something I was always asked for. And, of course, I was preparing designs for my own daughter, friends and family. And it finally happened, I finally got a chance to do it properly. The process of reprocessing parts in smaller sizes was beautiful. And because scale is something I usually play with, it suits me. The collection includes a mini-version of many classics, such as a white cotton poplin dress, a fluffy-sleeved dress. There are also small blouses with pearls, cashmere cardigans with pearl buttons, and decked red sweaters for boys.

Simone Rocha: The idea of running a men's collection was great. This is something I've never done before. When I was working for The Simone Rocha x H&M collection, I thought of men, women (and, of course, children) as part of the same community; parts of a family, a group, as a single element, a single identity. So the pieces talk to each other; there's a male trench coat, there's a female trench coat... there's a girl's sweater, there's a boy's sweater... but of course everything can be mixed, matched, and borrowed wonderfully between the decks. There are also many pieces designed with simple planting. It was really nice to revisit the androgynous clothes that inspired my early work, and in this collection they were reinterpreted as shabby, soft clothes. The process is based on collaborative work. I mostly work with artists or people who inspire me in the visual field. For example, it was very nice to work with the photographer Jacob Lillis, one of my regular collaborators in menswear. We used the floral photos on the window, which he took in northern England, in shirt patterns and accessories; they look very beautiful in tulle.

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