Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-04-16
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Proposal marks Dance of the Western Suburbs Proposal marks Dance of the Western Suburbs
The women behind the Dance of the Western Suburbs saved the day ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times Diego Rocha of 'Project Accessory' on Brazil, purses
NUNN ON ONE: TV - Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2011-12-21

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Diego Rocha


Project Runway now has its own spinoff with the show Project Accessory on Lifetime Television. Chicago's very own Diego Rocha is still in the running and doing very well. This award-winning handbag designer brings his Brazilian style to the table, creating items that can enhance any outfit. Before being eliminated from the show last week, Rocha talked about how he makes his life work with a purse.

Windy City Times: Oi, Diego. You are from Brazil.

Diego Rocha: I am, originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

WCT: Then you moved to New York.

Diego Rocha: I moved to New York in 2002, then I moved to Chicago in 2005. I have been here for a while actually.

WCT: So how do you like Chicago?

Diego Rocha: I love Chicago. It is such a great city. The people are amazing but I hate the weather very much. Like everybody else right? But I have a great clientele here so I am staying.

WCT: You have your own storefront?

Diego Rocha: Yes, it is in the Gold Coast. I am next door to Morton's Steakhouse.

WCT: You originally did finance work, correct?

Diego Rocha: My first job was at 14 years old back in Brazil. I got this job in Sao Paulo and worked for a company for 11 years. I was managing the entire company in financing. It was fun, but after 11 years of doing the same thing it was time for a change. I had family living here in the states. I decided to take off for a year and see something else. I wanted to study English and go back but I fell in love with designing and creating stuff. That was the beginning and out of the blue.

WCT: You taught yourself?

Diego Rocha: I am self-taught, like how to sew and make patterns. My mom used to be a pattern maker. She worked for great designers in Sao Paulo. I have never been into dresses or clothing. It is too complicated and delicate. A bag is completely different. You deal with tools and it is very hard to make. Creating the entire structure of a handbag is pretty intense. This past Friday I asked my assistant to sew a crocodile bag but it was so hard because the skin is so dry. It took like five hours!

WCT: So you are working with all kinds of materials, metal, leather…

Diego Rocha: I specialize in exotics—pythons, ostrich, alligator, all kinds of crocodiles and lizards. It is very luxurious but you have to understand those skins to work with them. I used to work with leather when I started out, but when I opened my shop in the Gold Coast the ladies started asking for exotics.

WCT: What kind of price range are we talking here?

Diego Rocha: I have a clutch made of python that starts at $680. The most expensive is small bag in American alligator is $3,800. The average price is $2,200. These ladies can afford it, trust me!

WCT: Do you make accessories for men?

Diego Rocha: I used to do some cuffs but this year I came up with a bangles idea. We got so busy with the bangles that we don't have anything for the guys in the store right now. They ask for briefcases but I don't know when that will happen. With ladies they need two bags per season so it keeps me very busy.

WCT: What led you to be on Project Accessory?

Diego Rocha: I was in New York and receiving the award for Independent Handbag Designer of 2011. I heard about the audition and wasn't sure about it. I can be shy but decided to meet the producers and see if it would be fun. I went there and that is how the process started. I was amazed when I was picked. It was long process.

WCT: I am sure they wanted to make sure it was done right after the success of Project Runway.

Diego Rocha: I was concerned if they were going to have students or more established people on the show. What if the other designers are in their '20s? I was 36 years old and didn't want to deal with that. I was glad that most of the people were my age!

WCT: It looks like it is fun to be on the show.

Diego Rocha: It is very fun but hard sometimes to be there. It is a lot of pressure on you 24 hours. You completely forget everything, family, business, dogs, whatever you have. You are just there and want to do the best. That is hard part. You get emotional or frustrated but at the same time it is such an amazing experience.

WCT: It was filmed in New York?

Diego Rocha: Yes, in the summertime in August.

WCT: Were you away from a partner all that time?

Diego Rocha: I have no time in my life right now for anyone. All I do is work, work, work. I can't wait for my vacation to go home and relax.

WCT: You went to Big Chicks [recently].

Diego Rocha: Yes, Mondo Guerra from Project Runway was there. It was really fun.

WCT: You both should team up and do something.

Diego Rocha: I know. Project Runway and Project Accessory are kind of like a club. The interesting part about the show is people start to recognize you. It is weird in a way. Last week's episode was very intense.

WCT: Have you had a favorite moment from the show?

Diego Rocha: I think winning the handbag challenge was the best. It was my moment. I made it to the fourth challenge. So that was good for me. I didn't want anyone to beat me on the handbag challenge.

WCT: It is your specialty. I was surprised that the hat maker on the show didn't make a hat from scratch.

Diego Rocha: It is a lot of pressure on everybody. I make handbags. On the handbag challenge if I didn't make a bag that would be bad so I think he really spoiled his moment. In the workroom you get the pressure of everybody expecting you to do what you do. You have to do the best you can.

WCT: So people can keep up with your projects on http://www.diegorocha.com?

Diego Rocha: Yes, absolutely, and Facebook, Twitter. I feel very proud of myself for accomplishing all of this in less than 12 years. I have big plans for 2012!

Thursdays have viewers clutching their pearls on Lifetime. Visit www.mylifetime.com for listings and details about Project Accessory as gets down to the wire.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.

'Drag Race' trans controversy; Tonys to honor Rosie 2014-04-15
RuPaul's Drag Race changes course on slur word 2014-04-14
Sharks bite for Chicago businessmen 2014-04-14
Judging 'American Idol' with Keith Urban 2014-04-09
DUDES webseries launches April 11 2014-04-08
Gay Chicago businessmen getting national TV exposure 2014-04-07
'Extreme Weight Loss' looking for couples 2014-04-02
Adrian Gonzalez talks Here TV show, nudity in Chicago 2014-04-01
Cox to receive GLAAD honor from Page 2014-04-01
Tamar teaches the 'Braxton Family Values' 2014-03-26
Fourth season of 'Thrones' starts April 6 2014-03-19
TELEVISION Nate Berkus 'Builds' a new reality show 2014-03-19
Sarah Jessica Parker is well-heeled in Chicago 2014-03-12
'Glee' star to perform at Chicago Pride Fest 2014-03-12
NUNN ON ONE Ted Allen talks 'Queer Eye' and 'Dining Out' 2014-03-12
Elton John, Frank Ocean; Alec Baldwin slams Rachel Maddow 2014-02-25
'Chicago Fire' cast on LGBT issues on show and off 2014-02-20
GUNNing for the title 2014-02-19
Lea Michele gets 'Louder,' shows 'Ambition' 2014-02-19
David Hyde Pierce to teach class in Wisconsin 2014-02-12
British doctor challenges ex-gay therapy; India court refuses 2014-01-28
Vin Diesel dances; 'Sean Saves the World' shuts down 2014-01-28
Jay Michael part of Chicago reality show '100 Days of Summer' 2014-01-28
'King of the Nerds' gay gamer on the show 2014-01-21
NUNN ON ONE: TV Harry Connick Jr. on 'Idol' and its judges 2014-01-15
THE Q LIST Shea Coulee's drag revolution will be televised 2014-01-15
Chicago drag performer invites 'Duck Dynasty' star 2014-01-14
'Wicked' breaks record; trans actress educates Couric 2014-01-07
'Kam Kardashian' director Ryan Logan expands horizons 2014-01-07
The 'Chozen' one: Showrunner on series about gay white rapper 2014-01-07
The Gay Agenda at Creating Change in Houston 2014-01-06
Carmen Carrera and Laverne Cox on Katie show Jan. 6 2014-01-03
'RuPaul's Drag Race' season six cast named 2014-01-01
How 'Glee' was supposed to end; 'Sherlock' actor comes out 2013-12-31
TWO denounces A&E for reinstating Duck Dynasty's Robertson 2013-12-28
A&E reverses stance about 'Duck Dynasty' 2013-12-28
MUSIC Frenchie Davis: From reality TV to the high sea 2013-12-25
DeGeneres responds to tragedy; Culture Club comeback 2013-12-25
Entertainment news 2013-12-20
'Duck Dynasty' in anti-gay controversy 2013-12-18





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
the online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

Lady Tajma Hall dies
 
Gay-owned B&B offers warmth in Rogers Park
 
Villa Loretta adds a touch of Hollywood to weddings
 
Frankly speaking: Expert tips to plan your wedding expertly
 
Homeless agency looks at increasing needs
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now








  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.