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John Rocha Announces His London Fashion Week Retirement

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Fashion designer John Rocha has surprised by announcing his retirement from London Fashion Week. The designer says he will no longer show on schedule at the event, something which he has done since 1985, and instead wants to allow more room for talented younger designers who want to have their collections seen. He now plans to spend more time with family instead. Rocha commented about the move:  ''If I stay, I want to have something to say and I always want to keep the standard high. The last couple of collections I looked back on and I thought to myself, 'That is really the best work I can do'. For the last few years I can see lots of talented people and designers coming up and with so much young talent you have to work so much harder, and I'm not going to do it until I drop!''

Rocha explains that he no longer wants to be tied down by having to keep up with the constant flow of collections and would like to return to Hong Kong which he feels is something he will now be able to do:  ''People ask me why, and it's because I want to do more with my time. I left Hong Kong in 1971 and I have never been back to spend Chinese New Year with my family because it always falls in February during the shows. In 40 years I have never taken more than ten days holiday at once. At this point in my life I want to live by my calendar and not the Fashion Week calendar. Stopping allows me to do that. It's not an overnight decision, Odette and I have been talking about it for some time.'' The John Rocha label will not go out of business as the designer plans to explore other avenues of design and he also promises that no jobs will be lost from the company.

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