herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Rocha declares love for 'magical city'

DESIGNER John Rocha has turned his hand to travel presenting and has taken a camera crew around his adopted city of Dublin.

The international fashion icon has been based in the capital since 1979 and explained his reasons for locating here.

"The reason I love Dublin is that I think it is a magical city to live in," John Rocha said.

"One of the reasons I came to Ireland is that I learned about Irish fabric and handcraft. The foundation of my career was very much based on that."

The tour, which is broadcast on the My City section of the Guardian website, begins in Powerscourt Shopping Centre, the place where the designer's career first started.

"I feel quite emotional about this place," John said. "I first opened my shop here in 1984.

"It has gone from humble beginnings to today where our businesses supply to about 50 countries around the world."

The dress designer revealed he has a conflict of interest about his nationality, but feels a great affinity to Ireland.

"I don't see myself as an Irish designer -- I look at myself as being from somewhere in the Irish Sea," he said. "I was born as a British citizen in Hong Kong and I still carry my British passport. But Ireland is a foundation of my career.

"Ireland is very much a part of me and in that sense it will always be a part of me," he added. "It is very much what made me the way I am."

He introduces the viewers to the Hugh Lane Gallery, St Stephen's Green and the Forty Foot in Sandycove.

"Not many cities have a park like this in the middle," he said about St Stephen's Green. "Because of that, you see a lot of nationalities who spend time here. I come here to chill out, away from everything."

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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