By Maeve O’Sullivan – Fashion Editor
London-based Irish designer Simone Rocha has announced she will be releasing a collection with H&M on March 11th, 2021. The collection, which has been in the works since Summer 2018, caters not just for women’s fashion which Rocha is known for, but also children and menswear. The collection encompasses an influence from the Rocha archives, many of which give a nod to her own heritage: Ireland and Hong Kong. The 34-year-old designer and Dublin’s NCAD graduate is celebrated for her modern femininity and consistent vision. She joins names such as Karl Lagerfeld (2004), Stella McCartney (2005), Comme Des Garcons (2008), Versace (2011), Marni (2012), Maison Martin Margiela (2013), Alexander Wang (2014), Balmain (2015), Kenzo (2016), and Moschino (2018). Rocha says “it’s such an amazing list of alumni to be a part of’’. You can say that again!
The collection is in true Rocha style with broderie anglaise, tartan seersucker, tinselly tweed, puffy cloqués, plump bows, pearl embroidery and of course, intricate detailed headbands, a classic for the designer. Keeping in tune with her style was imperative for Rocha: “It felt important to pick out pivotal moments that you could recognise as my codes, to share my identity’’, said Rocha to Vogue’s Sarah Mower. Featured in the collection with the Swedish high street brand is the sequin bralettes from her Louise Bourgeois-inspired Spring 2020 collection and the tartan trousers from Spring 2014.
The underlying message of the collection brings to force the idea that iconic house collections will never go out of style. The collection claims to be ‘pan-generational and size inclusive’, with a combination of femininity with masculinity. Originally, H&M said that the range would not be available beyond a size 14 in its European stores. However, the company has since retracted this comment, explaining that there will in fact be a size range of XS-L, with L being the equivalent to a UK 16-18.
‘’I translated my Aran knits in cotton yarn, some with pearl embroidery. I just wanted it to be boyish, cool, and real.’’
With a company as big H&M, resulting in a wide environmental footprint, the aim of sustainability came in the form of the design and fabrications. Therefore, the designs used organic cotton, recycled polyester, and a new compostable yarn, while keeping the quality of the designer standard.
“I hope that the items in this collection will be worn and treasured for years to come. They were all informed by ideas and inspirations that have shaped me and my brand over the last 10 years, and I am so excited to see them worn out-and-about and interpreted and styled in new ways,” said Simone Rocha.
Simone said the collaboration means a huge amount to her. “Being able to do something and share it with so many people across all ages, all sizes, all nationalities, it was really important for me that the collection brought femininity, strength and modernity.”
The campaign, which was shot by Tyler Mitchell, includes Daisy Edgar-Jones of Normal People and Michael Ward as well as a short documentary with the designer and Adwoa and Kesewa Aboah shot by Rocha’s partner Eoin McLaughlin.
The range includes everything from occasion wear with tulle dresses and tailoring, to knits, shirts, outwear, casual t-shirts and accessories. Prices start at €6.99 for socks, with dresses and trench coats €179. Pearl-decorated brogues are the most expensive items at €249.