Born on 23rd August 1953, John Rocha is a Portuguese-Chinese fashion designer originally from Hong Kong and residing in Ireland with his wife. The Rocha family has a second house in Southern France at St. Jean Cap-Ferrat. Simone, his daughter, also chose the same career path as him. She is also a thriving designer.
After graduating from Croydon School of Art in London, Rocha moved to the Republic of Ireland. In the 1980s, he established his label Chinatown in Dublin. Later, he designed clothes for high street boutiques, such as A Wear and Brown Thomas.
In 1993, John Rocha was nominated as Designer of the Year during the British Fashion Awards. The designer runs his own labels: John Rocha Jeans, John Rocha, Rocha John Rocha and John Rocha Jewelry. In addition to this, he has other labels for home decor and accessories for Debenhams. Rocha has done interior designing in Dublin of the Morrison Hotel and in Birmingham of the Orion Building.
In 2002, He became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his contributions in the fashion scene. Six years later, at the Ernst and Young Irish Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Rocha was given a special award. Moreover, in 2010 he became among the six internationally recognized and contemporary fashion designers from Ireland featured on Irish postage stamps by An Post. Other designers on the stamps were Louise Kennedy , Orla Kiely, Philip Treacy, Lainey Keogh and Paul Costelloe.
Moving away from work, Rocha’s parents have been described by him as highly humble individuals. He came from a working class family background. The family lived in an apartment with two bedrooms and ten people resided in it, including his siblings, grandmother and parents. The space was small and cramped and they slept on the floor.
As a child, Rocha wanted to be a footballer. However, he was short in height and needed to be around six inches taller. Later, he developed an interest in fashion and learnt about it while in Europe.
Whatever that Rocha designs for others is a different story, but as far as his personal style is concerned, he loves wearing shirts black in color. At any one time, he usually has fourteen of them. As far as shoes are considered, Rocha still likes to put on Birkenstocks since they are comfortable and good for winters.
A book that changed his perception and personality is Nelson Mandela‘s autobio graphy. It was inspiring for the designer to read the way Mandela gave up many things in life for a great cause. Other media that he is keen about, include movies and that too of British genre. His favorite is Four Weddings and a Funeral as well as Room With a View.
The one person that really makes Rocha laugh is his daughter. He believes that the young generation of designers are different and thinks that his daughter is dramatic about everything. JohRocha doesn’t take such an approach of design seriously.
One thing the designer wishes is that he had stayed in Hong Kong for a longer time when his father was alive. However, fate had other things to offer. Other than this, the designer will remain happy with life as long as he continues to do whatever that he does and becomes more good in terms of work and personality.