Remembering Filipino avant-garde designer Rocky Gathercole

Published March 3, 2021, 8:34 PM

by John Legaspi

His works have been worn by Hollywood stars Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, and Jennifer Lopez

Rocky Gathercole at Philippine Fashion Week spring-summer 2020 (Photo by Kersten Barranco)

The local fashion industry mourns the death of world-class talent Rocky Gathercole. The Filipino avant-garde fashion designer passed away in the afternoon of March 3, 2021 at age 54. News about his demise was announced on social media by his colleagues.

Rocky rose to fame for his out of the box design, and has been one of the go-to Filipino designers of Hollywood stars and stylists whenever they need a showstopping piece. But unlike his creations, his early life was far from being filled with luxury and art.

ABS-CBN’s “Maalala Mo Kaya” dedicated an episode detailing the life of Rocky, portrayed by actor Arjo Atayde, where he was once a homeless child. 

Rocky’s fashion career started in Pasay City. He then moved to the Middle East, and worked there for 20 years, and made a name for himself with his extraordinary designs. 

Apart from the Middle East, Rocky showed what a fashion extraordinaire he was, showcasing his works on the runways of New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, and in Australia.

Among the brightest stars that donned his creations were singer Britney Spears, socialite Paris Hilton, rapper Nicki Minaj, and actress Jennifer Lopez.

Rest in power, Rocky Gathercole.