From living life on the streets to dressing some of the world’s biggest stars, designer Rocky Gathercole opens up to Get it’s Kathleen Loxton about the world of fashion and his exciting journey with Miss World Australia
Rocky, a native of the Philippines, ran away from home at the tender age of 14-years-old. He survived making pocket change from a local street vendor, and though he never completed his high school education, Rocky later travelled to Saudi Arabia where he met an employer who would one day help him achieve his dreams.
During the meteoric rise of his success, Rocky made his mark in Dubai. This led to Fashion Week invitations from Miami to NewYork, and establishing shops in both Los Angeles, USA, and Quezon City, Philippines. Today, he is instantly recognisable for his avant-garde creations and Rocky has dressed a spectacular array of household names; including the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Sia, Paris Hilton and Katy Perry.
This year, the stars aligned for Rocky’s 30th anniversary as a fashion designer and Miss World Australia 2019. A phone call was all it took for Rocky to lend his talents to the prestigious pageant. He recalled getting the call from Marites Novis (executive producer at MFN Productions), saying,“She called me in Manilla (while I was there doing a show) and she asked me if I was interested in coming to Australia. And I said,‘Of course I am!’ We’ve since become close friends.”
When we spoke, Rocky was jet-lagged from his travels, having just arrived in Sydney, however, his enthusiasm and passion for the event, and his contribution to Miss World Australia 2019, was obvious. His collection was shown at the New South Wales state finals on July 7 and did not disappoint. The breath taking showcase was the organisational genius of Marites and fellow MFN Productions executive producer, William Lin. Marites explained,“The showcase celebrated Rocky’s incredible talent, but also waved the flag of the Philippines worldwide.”
The fashion spectacular involved a 60-piece collection, which Rocky worked tirelessly over for three months (a feat not easily achieved in the world of couture).“It’s like something you can’t imagine,”said Rocky of his latest collection.
Even while surrounded by all the glamour, the highlight for Rocky has been that he got to spend his special anniversary here; “That’s the best part of it, getting to do all of this in Australia,” he added.
Looking back at all he has accomplished, Rocky noted the most memorable moments in his career so far would have to be when Britney Spears was featured in his stunning creation for her Piece of Me tour, and when he saw Katy Perry wearing his work in the Dark Horse music video. However, Rocky admitted Barbra Streisand is one celebrity he would love to dress in the future.
From his Christian faith to strolling through marketplaces, Rocky continues to gather his inspiration from all areas of the creative. As Rocky would say about finding that spark in life, “There’s so many beautiful moments, so many beautiful things.” So, take a leaf out of Rocky’s sketchbook Get it girls and find the beauty in every situation, you may be surprised by the masterpieces you create.