For our 2019 ‘Friends and Family’ issue, we asked eight families—from multigenerational clans to collaborators who lean on each other like kin—to share what they’re giving and asking for this holiday season. Contributing editor Karin Nelson sat down with each group to paint a picture of their relationships and what they’re getting up to this year.
Fashion Week is always frenzied, but this past one proved especially so for the designer Simone Rocha, whose spring 2020 presentation fell on the same week that her 4-year-old daughter, Valentine, started school. “It was pretty crazy,” she says. “But at the same time, it put everything in perspective.” Balancing—and harmoniously combining—work and family is something that the Rochas do well. Simone’s parents, John and Odette, have worked side by side since the early ’80s, when John launched Chinatown, his first fashion label, followed by John Rocha. “They’re incredibly inspirational people,” Simone says. “No matter how much they traveled and worked, they made such beautiful homes for my brother, Max, and me.” When John decided to retire five years ago, Odette joined their daughter’s company, overseeing the commercial side, while John designed her three stores, outfitting them with their signature rose quartz counters and cage displays. Simone’s partner, the cinematographer Eoin McLoughlin, has also joined the fold, creating films and campaigns for the brand. Valentine, though, might be more difficult to lure: “She comes to the studio sometimes and pokes around,” Simone says. “But she’s more into dinosaurs and Kinder eggs.” This holiday season, like all those past, the entire clan will gather at the family’s home in Dublin, where Odette and Max, a chef at the River Cafe in London, will cook the Rochas’ usual Christmas fare of turkey, roast vegetables, and grandmother’s stuffing. Lest you think it’s just a family affair, though, there will be business involved too, as McLoughlin, who comes from a long line of butchers, will be busy delivering meat to his family’s customers. “Christmas is their Fashion Week,” Simone says. “But now we get a free turkey.”