Rochas is a fashion, beauty, and perfume house founded in 1925 by French designer Marcel Rochas, born in 1902 and died in 1955, first designer of 2/3-length coats and skirts with pockets. It is currently owned by the multinational Procter & Gamble.
The company found recent recognition for its fashion design when it chose Olivier Theyskens as its creative director in 2002. (In the years leading to his appointment, its clothes had not been considered notable.) Theyskens, within his first few months, created an "entirely new silhouette for the house" that was French-influenced and elegant. His first full collection, for Fall 2003, was praised by style.com as "ravishing" and "nothing short of magnificent."
For the next several years, Rochas continued to garner praise among fashion critics and to attract loyal followers. Rochas' clients included Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Aniston, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Bosworth, Jennifer Lopez, Rachel Weisz, and Sarah Jessica Parker. In 2006, the Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded Theyskens the International Award. However, Theyskens' focus on "demicouture" (special pieces too costly to mass-produce but which may not meet strict couture rules regarding hand-stitching and numbers of fitting) was questioned by fashion insiders as a viable business strategy. His gowns, some of which were priced upwards of $20,000, were often out of reach for all but the most fabulously wealthy. Theyskens took a purer approach to fashion and did not rely (like many fashion houses) on accessory sales and cheaper sister lines for a steady stream of revenue.
In July 2006, Procter & Gamble announced the discontinuation of Rochas' fashion division, shocking many in the fashion industry. One "longtime designer," commenting anonymously in the New York Times, said of the closure, "That sort of perfect, made-to-measure business can't exist today, which is really too bad. Everything is about business now, and fashion shouldn't have to follow normal economic models—that's not the point. What happened to investing in beauty?"
News emerged in 2008 that there were plans to reopen the fashion house.
On November 3, 2008, Marco Zanini was named new artistic director for the fashion house. He showed his first collection during Paris Fashion Week in February 2009.
About half a century separate Marco Zanini from the creator and founder of the house, Marcel Rochas. Born in 1971, Marco Zanini graduated from the Fine Arts Academy of Milan in 1995. After having been Assistant at Dolce & Gabbana for their ready-to-wear line, he became Donatella Versace's right arm. He then relaunched the American brand of Halston. Rochas conferred the responsibility of its ready-to-wear collections upon him in 2009. His ambition to build "brick by brick" and season after season the foundations of a renewed House of Rochas, his insistence on making each new collection "unpredictable", confirm the renaissance of Rochas in fashion.
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- Alexander, Hilary (2006-07-19). "House of Rochas suddenly out of fashion". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
- Hirschberg, Lynn (2003-11-30). "The Shape of Jackets to Come". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
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- Mower, Sarah (2004-03-03). "Rochas Runway Review (Fall 2004)". Style.com. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
- Mower, Sarah (2004-10-10). "Rochas Runway Review (Spring 2005)". Style.com. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
- Mower, Sarah (2005-03-02). "Rochas Runway Review (Fall 2005)". Style.com. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
- Mower, Sarah (2005-10-05). "Rochas Runway Review (Spring 2006)". Style.com. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
- Byron, Ellen (2008-10-07). "P&G Pact to Reopen Rochas Fashion House". The Wall Street Journal.