How did you get into the fashion industry? I think a few things shaped my career in fashion. Travelling with my mother on buying trips to France when I was young. Being highly creative throughout school and only paying attention in classes that had some form of art or creativity. I think also having a natural eye and love for fashion. I remember, when I was younger, I loved getting ready for parties and putting things together and ripping up clothes. to create my outfit for the night.

Where are you from?I am Australian with Greek blood.

What inspired you to start your label?After graduating from university, I had such a strong vision. I had my own flair and style, and I was too stubborn to share my designs with anyone else. I wasn't afraid to go for what I wanted. So yeah, I had drive and a vision, so I just went for it.

Many of your pieces are so detailed and intricate. Where are they made and how long does it take to create, say, a single jacket?I produce all my garments out of Indonesia. When travelling around South-East Asia, I was inspired by local artisans and their craftsmanship, and I quickly built great relationships with them. As the garments are highly detailed and all handmade, a custom order can take anywhere from two to four weeks to land at your door. Due to demand, I try to keep as much stock in my studio as possible.

What are three personal traits that havegot you to where you are today?Fearlessness, experimentation and passion.

Finish this sentence: I wish fashion...Had stronger copyright laws to protect designers, and it wasn't so easy to rip someone off, I wish you couldn't just rearrange a few stitches in a garment to call it your own. I am super-paranoid about copycats. Copy all you want, but you will always be one step behind.

What do you wish you knew early on in the Rockyrafaela journey?To not get so stressed, upset and angry at myself when something goes wrong because mistakes are the best way to learn and improve. I have learnt stress and anger just attract negative energy, which will make everything even worse. Now when something goes wrong, I have to say to myself, "This is out of my control. Ok, how do we resolve this?". It's just part of the journey andthat's life.

Describe your creative process?It's always a thought, firstly. A vision. A lot of the time, I'm lying in bed, and I will have to jump out and quickly scribble down a design or idea that's popped into my head. Then I will make up some patterns and toile it up on cheap fabric. Next, I look at the fit and design from sketch to 3D, and usually I will make changes until I am happy. Once I have approved my design, it is created on the final material.

I love that your pieces are hard and soft at the same time. What type of person is a Rockyrafaela woman?She wants to be noticed. She dresses to impress. She's done with making excuses and acting small. She's learned to ignore anyone who says she can't, because they're wrong.

What's the most influential piece of clothingthat you own?Most definitely my Alexander McQueen blazer. It is special to me because he is, and has always been, my favourite designer. Since I knew what fashion was, he was my idol. I remember being in Milan, covered head-to-toe in his jewellery, and a head scarf wrapped around my head, jumping in the air because I was so excited to walk into one of his amazing stores. I still have the photo. I could also relate to his dark taste, over-the-top attitude and highly detailed garments.


Rochelle Gregory


More Headlines