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john rocha retires after 29 years

With John Rocha announcing he has retired his label from LFW, his autumn/winter 14 collection being his last, we catch up with John and daughter Simone to talk about family, work and passing the mantle to the next generation.

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Hong Kong born and Ireland based John Rocha has enjoyed 29 years of unbridled catwalk success, he won Designer of the Year in 1993 and was awarded a CBE in 2002 for his services for fashion. Recently though it's his daughter that has been garnering plaudits, with Simone picking up the Emerging Womenswear Designer Of The Year award at the 2013 BFAs.

They are two peas in a potato; they both love fabric, family and a good party. They are the life and soul, and judging by her success so far, when it comes to Simone it’s not just the luck of the Irish, it’s pure, unbridled talent!

Simone, what did you think of your dad when you were a child?
I thought he was pretty cool, he always wore Levi's with turn-ups and Birkenstocks. He loved playing football, he was a goalie.

John, what was Simone like as a child? 
Simone was a wonderful child, really sweet with a big laugh and she was always singing, she had a beautiful voice.

What have you learnt from each other over the years? 
Respect, understanding and hard work lead to happiness.

What makes you both laugh?
Mum walking slow, we call her the snail. Also Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Simone, if you had unlimited money to buy your dad a birthday present, what would you get him? 
Ha! It's his 60th birthday this week!! I wanted to buy him a wooden boat for fishing in the south of France with “Healthy Village" painted on the side. It's where he grew up in Hong Kong.

And the same question to John.
I would buy her a Louise Bourgeois Spider, as this is her favourite artist.

Simone, what do you think you have inherited from your father?
I think his love of clean space and beautiful simplicity and a respect for fabrication.

John, what do you see of yourself in your daughter? 
Determination, not being afraid of hard work but loving a good drink and a party!

What's your favourite thing to do as a family? 
Simone: Eat. To have supper cooked by mum at our home in Dublin, with mum, dad, Max my brother and Rufus my dog.