Simone Rocha talks exclusively to ELLE

Designer on internships and inspiration...

ELLE caught up with Simone Rocha at the opening of the Cointreau Fizz Garden Party at London’s Skyroom last night.

The ELLE/Cointreau Bursary winner took a break from working on her spring / summer 2014 collection to enjoy cocktails at the pop-up rooftop garden.

Simone said of her behind-the-scenes blog for ELLE, that she loves letting people see her world: ‘so much preparation goes into each collection, culminating in the show; it’s been great to offer readers an insight into the journey, from concept to creation.’

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On her blog, Simone has revealed the important role research plays in her designs, as well as unlikely sources of inspiration. ‘For me, creativity stems from something I relate to. I find inspiration everywhere, from art and furniture, to travel and photography. Design is about immersing yourself in culture – even going to a gig can inspire me.’

Simone’s pieces are sold in some of the most influential boutiques in the world, so she should know a thing or two about how to make it in the industry. And in news that will cheer winners of this year’s ELLE Edited by the Interns initiative, the designer credits much of her success to immersing herself in internships. ‘My advice to people wanting to make it in fashion has always been to get as much experience as possible. I did a lot of internships for designers and magazines all through my BA and my MA, and it has really held me in good stead.’

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But getting that internship is just the first step, according to the Dublin-born designer. ‘If you’re lucky enough to secure an internship, go into it with an open mind and with a real willingness to learn. Don’t be afraid to explore related creative disciplines, like product design, styling or photography, and work hard.’

The Cointreau Fizz Garden party takes place at The Skyroom, London Bridge, every Tuesday evening until mid-July. To request a free ticket, visit

Find out more about the ELLE/Cointreau Bursary and read Simone’s blogs

See the Simone Rocha autumn/winter 2013 collection.

See Lady Gaga wearing Simone Rocha on the cover of the January 2011 issue of ELLE.

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