H&M has collaborated with Simone Rocha – who follows the likes of Giambattista Valli, Moschino and The Vampire’s Wife in teaming up with the Swedish retailer – and the result is a capsule collection for women, men and kids. The designer reimagined some of her past work and modernized her strong, feminine pieces with glimmering pearls, sparkling sequins and romantic frills, staying true to her poetic style. We caught up with the Irish Designer to get the lowdown on her collaboration with the fast-fashion giant.
You reworked some of your past collections. What has this process taught you regarding the evolution of your brand?
Going through my archives to create this collection was a highly emotional experience. It gave me the opportunity to reflect on past seasons, ones that I am especially proud of. These archives are the milestones of my career and essential to the way I work and create, still. Simone Rocha is not a brand that abandons ideas come a new season, and we’re often looking at our past to create for the future. It’s fundamental that our customers have the option of mixing and matching their favourite pieces from any past or present collection, in their own unique way.
And how did that come into play for this collaboration, precisely?
In creating The H&M x Simone Rocha collection, I started by looking back at our Spring/Summer 2014 collection, which was our first-ever. This was the drop that cemented my identity as a designer. I then went back to our Spring/Summer 2016 collection – inspired by Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki, and my first fashion week show. I finally revisited our Fall/Winter 2014 collection, which mixed past elements such as the seersucker tartan checked dress, with recent ones, including pleated tulles. The H&M x Simone Rocha collection holds all the distinct aspects of the Simone Rocha name. This collection is not made of mere re-editions but rather relies on the past to offer a contemporary reinterpretation of some ideas that we maybe didn’t push as far as we wanted to the first time around.
Why were you excited to work with H&M when they offered you this collaboration opportunity?
As a designer, I have always been a fan of the H&M collaboration concept. Margiela, Alber Elbaz, Comme des Garçons – it’s an amazing roster to be a part of. Also, as a consumer, brand collaborations are something I often find myself gravitating towards. In fact, I still have a pair of socks from the Marni x H&M collection, as well as a Comme des Garçons polka-dot knit! These pieces allow consumers to join in on the journey of a brand’s history, which is also determined by their collaborations. I was humbled at the thought of creating for a generation who may not always have the opportunity to buy my designs.
For the first time, you are offering menswear and childrenswear. Is this something you’d like to do more of in the future?
The H&M x Simone Rocha collection has allowed me to expand into areas that I’ve long been fascinated by. This is the first time I imagine a collection for the whole family, which is exciting. Family is a huge aspect of my life and has shaped most of my work so far. The timing of this collaboration is also pretty special: the brand recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. So naturally, we are currently reflecting on the brand’s growth, considering key styles and details, as well as the signature for which we have become known. This collection has given us a chance to celebrate those pillars and that’s really wonderful.
The Simone Rocha x H&M collection launches March 11th, 2021, and is available at hm.com and in selected stores.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.