Freedom. The freedom of knowing that age is what allowed designer Jose Luis Rocha to realize that everything is possible. It gives him a completely relaxed mood when creating the next pieces for his collection. With no board to please, guidelines, and not needing to “sell to eat” liberates him from a pressure most designers have.
“When I finished design school and came back from Europe I was very exited to create “Mexican” designs that will have something to do with culture, geography, and materials available in the country but I was crushed to see that most of the manufacturers just copy whatever is coming from Italy or Spain. They would go to the trade shows and asked us to copy styles, I hated that! Now I control my factory completely and I am finally happy to have the creative freedom to do what I want.”
The creating process without a doubt is Rocha’s favourite part of being a designer. He enjoys that he can translate visions into products.
“It is very transcendent when an idea, a feeling, or even an aroma becomes a wallet, jacket, or shoe. I find it challenging to mix different medias, experiment with tanneries, and explore new processes always respecting the traditional designs.”
At what Jose likes to call “old age” he has other business interests. One of them allows him to have a view on interior design for the hospitality industry. This gives Jose the chance to furnish fixtures, furniture, and equipment for the highest hotel brands with properties in Mexico. He is a designer no matter what.
Being humble and proud at the same time are a result of being the first Mexican shoe designer to get into the USA market. Everyone that has tried, purchased, or reviewed Jose’s products have had great things to say about quality, fit, and forward design.
Obstacles from perspectives, more than realities, are what Rocha has had to face. Once Jose started coming to trade shows with his brand, retailers frowned upon the “Made in Mexico” portion of the Jose Luis Rocha logo.
“There is no way I would ever do that. I am a proud Mexican and I am completely behind the quality of my designs and processes. I respect Italians and Spaniards as my equally. No more, no less.”
Jose’s has invested his family’s money into his adventure and has all their support and belongs. That scared him but he is sure he will be a success.
The elegance of the past. Rocha firmly believes that trendiness is a phase and elegance is a virtue. He sees well-dressed men on the street wearing their own fashion, whether they are casual looks or formal. Many times, he is unable to identify the brand or quality of fabric they are wearing, but he knows they look amazing. That inspires him. The new Jose Luis Rocha collection is about to giving you the tools to get your style, not his. The fact that he is taking his family name and making something beautiful that is both accepted and cherished by the public, makes everything worth while.
To Jose, life is a chain of accomplishments and there is always more to conquer. One of the high points in Jose’s career is when bloggers and people that work for other venerable shoe brands ask for his shoes. It makes him happy and drives him to move forward.