Winner: Simone Rocha, recipient of the first ELLE/Cointreau Bursary

She will receive a fund of £100,000

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You will have read in ELLE’s April issue (on sale now), that Simone Rocha was chosen to receive the ELLE/Cointreau Bursary, a fund of £100,000. The prize was launched to help fledgling London designers grow their labels from cult fashion favourites to serious international businesses.

ELLE editor in chief, Lorraine Candy, says: ‘This is a groundbreaking award that will help Simone to expand her business and meet the ever-growing demands of her fans. ELLE has a proud history of championing young talent and now we can help them grow financially too.’

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As part of the ELLE/Cointreau Bursary, the designer will serve as creative director for Cointreau. She will also be blogging exclusively for ELLE, giving us an insight into what really goes on behind-the-scenes at her label as she prepares her spring / summer 2014 collection. In the meantime, here are 10 things you need to know about Simone Rocha.

1. Fashion is in her genes. Her dad is London Fashion Week veteran John Rocha who always sits front row at her shows with mum Odette, and brother Max who puts together the soundtracks.

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2. She graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2010 and was immediately spotted by Lulu Kennedy who invited her to show at London Fashion Week as part of Fashion East in the same year.

3. Simone’s pieces are sold in some of the most influential boutiques in the world, including London’s Dover Street Market, Milan’s 10 Corso Como and Paris’ Colette.

4. ELLE was the first magazine to put Simone Rocha on the cover - remember the incredible green organza dress that Lady Gaga wore for the January 2011 issue?

5. Her celebrity following includes Alexa Chung, Chloe Moretz and Rihanna.

6. Simone won the New Designer Award at this year’s ELLE Style Awards, presented by Arizona Muse, and she collected it dressed head-to-toe in her spring/summer 2013 collection.

7. One of her ‘inspiration’ books is ‘Pony Kids’ by Perry Ogden.

8. She was born in Dublin in 1986 – and she retains her brilliantly rich Irish accent.

9. Her autumn/winter 2013 collection is entitled ‘Respect Your Elders’ and was inspired by her late Irish grandmother, Margaret Gleeson, and her Chinese grandmother, Cecilia Rocha.

10. Her design heroes are Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Martin Margiela, Raf Simons and John Rocha.

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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