Coco Rocha is many things: shapeshifter, risk-taker, and an overall multi-tasker. Amid the chaos of Paris Fashion Week, Fashion Editor styles and interviews the Canadian supermodel, who graces the cover of BAZAAR’s latest December issue – and drops a few truth bombs along the way. Here, is life according to Coco Rocha.
On… her memory of being scouted.
“All my friends burst out laughing! I’ll never forget it because it just seemed so absurd. [Modelling agent] Charles Stuart scouted me at an Irish dance competition, and I was the last one anyone thought that could model.”
On… her most memorable runway show.
“Nearly all my favourite runway moments have been with Jean Paul Gaultier. But the best, would be walking down the runway with my daughter Ioni last year, when I was still pregnant with my baby boy. Jean Paul even gave us both matching couture looks to keep!”
On… the modelling industry then, and now.
“The early 2000’s was a difficult time to stand out as a model. I came around at a time when there was a backlash to the generation of supermodels from the 80’s and 90’s, ending with Gisele. My generation of models all looked alike, and no one knew our names or cared if we lasted a season or two. Today with social media, the public is crying out for more diversity and very slowly the industry is moving that way. We are not where we need to be but I think we are heading that way.”
On… being a model mentor in 2013’s The Face opposite Karolina Kurkova, and Naomi Campbell.
“I love mentoring! When I was an up-and-coming model, I had no one to go to for advice. Now I’m in a position to help the next generation, I love doing so. I’ve done it on TV of course, but more importantly I mentor the girls in the agency I launched, Nomad Management, and I also do so at the Coco Rocha Model Camp which I established this year.”
On… starting her own modelling agency.
“I wanted to create an agency where the models feel safe and protected. I’ve seen what works, and what doesn’t. As a model myself, I’ve given a lot of thought to what I need from an agency.
On… modelling before #MeToo.
“A decade ago there was no #MeToo movement. I remember joining a small number of models who were outspoken with regards to the darker sides of the industry, especially those who were predatory in nature. We named names back then, and felt real backlash from the industry. Some models even lost their careers and those of us who didn’t, felt real fatigue and frustration from waiting for someone with more authority than we had to do something about these systemic issues, but no one did. I quickly realized I would have to change my own little corner of the industry myself – no one above me was going to do Tit for me.”
On… the most important thing being a model.
“Have realistic goals. Don’t come into this industry to want to become famous, or expect to make a lot of money. A good model must be professional and willing to work hard. At the same time, a model also needs to have thick skin because today’s culture is definitely one of criticism, especially on the Internet.”
On… keeping herself grounded.
“I have great friends and family who are not afraid to tell me when I need to come down to Earth. It’s important not to surround yourself with people that just always say yes.”
On… juggling life as a mother and entrepreneur.
“I’m lucky to have a career that allows me to bring my children with me everywhere, and to have a husband who works with me on our business ventures. Family and work, goes hand-in-hand.”
“It’s changed everything. Everything you do is for them now. Now, my days are filled with making them happy even if that means not getting sleep, not showering, or missing out on things that I want to do. Ultimately, it’s a joy to literally serve these little people!”
On… the one advice she would give her daughter Ioni, and son Iver.
“It’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice.”