Internationally renowned fashion designer John Rocha was the guest of honour at the re-launch of Croydon’s School of Art, October 11.
Rocha, the former British fashion designer of the year, unveiled a plaque to mark the opening CSA’s refurbished facilities.
A student at the school in the 1970s, Rocha used his time at Croydon as a springboard for a career that has seen him become worldwide name in the fashion industry.
Speaking to an audience of well over 150, he hoped the new facilities would produce talent that could emulate his successes.
He said: “I left here 35 years ago with a dream, I hope the new Croydon School of Arts can become a dream machine so new students dreams can come true, just like mine.”
To mark the event the audience were treated to a to a fashion show supported by the school. An exhibition displaying CSA’s art archive was displayed to the public.
A ceremonial signature book was also opened for CSA alumni to sign, with Rocha as the first signature.
Nick Strange, Head of Croydon’s School of Art, said the event was a great success and could serve as a catalyst for future development.
He said: “This event is about celebration history and heritage of Croydon School of Art. The alumni here has always had and attitude and changed culture and we hope this change is now being expressed in Croydon’s young people.”
“I hope the day has allowed the students here already to dream, and in the future I hope we develop into a strong art school allowing students to have no boundaries when it comes to creativity.”
Also attending was the Mayor of Croydon who said the achievements of Rocha have gained the borough ‘global recognition’ and his appearance would be an ‘inspiration’ for present Croydon students.