Before he made it big, dressing the likes of Katy Perry and Paris Hilton, Rocky Gathercole was a kid who left home at age 14 for the freedom of the streets.
Though he did not finish high school, he set forth to Saudi Arabia, where his employer helped him become the avant-garde designer he is now.
Mexican singer-actress Thalia has tapped him to create her outfits for her comeback concert in October, while American pop singer Sia has also chosen him to design a new look for her.
Amid the preparations for his famous clients, Gathercole is also preparing to have his famous works strut down the runway for a good cause.
He told [email protected] on Monday, what started as a remark said in jest to ABS-CBN's Keesa Ocampo in May is turning into a reality soon, as he fulfills his dream of hosting a show for the benefit of Bantay-Bata, a cause so close to his heart.
"Battered child ako. Kung baga, part ko talaga yun. Kung bibigyan ako ng [pagkakataon], gusto kong tumulong sa mga kabataan," he said.
He recalled having to run away from home as he experienced identity crisis and roaming the streets of Manila alone for years. He worked as a helper for a rolling store on weekdays, but having to claw his way through surviving the weekends by himself.
Though he has been back to the Philippines, this is the first time that he has recounted his past.
"Hindi naman sa hindi ko na siya binabalikan, pero tapos na kasi yung chapter na yun. I’m thankful na lang na nabalikan ko siya ulit ngayon dahil sa mga bata," he said.
Rock the Runway will be on July 28 at Avalon Hollywood in California.
Tickets are available at rockygathercole.eventbrite.com.