Exclusive Interview: Coco Rocha, StyleBistro Celebrity Guest Editor
Coco Rocha (Getty)
Coco Rocha (Getty)
If you know Coco Rocha's history, you know she is a multifaceted talent. The Canadian supermodel was discovered at a Celtic dance competition in 2002 and shortly therafter took her skills to the Jean Paul Gaultier runway where she floored the fashion show-goers with a dance finale.
Famous for her powerful runway strut and her impeccable posing, Coco has quickly taken the fashion industry by storm. What is perhaps the most captivating and endearing part of Coco's dynamic personality, however, is her social activism. At only 23, the model has been involved in Haiti relief projects, has benefited children with cancer through dance and has just launched a collaborative jewelry line with Senhoa, an organization helping young girls in human trafficking escape and thrive. Coco told us in our exclusive interview, "The slogan I've sort of gone by is, 'It's nice to be important, but it's important to be nice.'"
We sat down with the sweet and bubbly designer to get the scoop on everything from her favorite designers to the inspiration behind her humanitarian efforts. It's time to take a closer look at fashion's It Girl.
StyleBistro: How would you describe your personal style?
Coco Rocha: Good question! I don't really know if it has a name for it, but I have pieces from the 1800s to now-a-days. So I just think of myself as liking one-of-a-kind-pieces, just something that stands out.
SB: Who are your favorite designers to wear off the runway?
Coco: Well, Zac Posen is a good friend of mine and is always there when I need something for an event. I do love my McQueens, I like my Balenciagas, and then, of course, the glamorous Diors and Gaultiers. Most of my favorites are eccentric beautiful gowns from France, and I think Zac Posen is just that sort of designer, as well, so I put him in that category.
SB: What are your favorite collections from Spring 2012?
Coco: I mean I always do love McQueen every time, it surprises you and you're not surprised at the same time. I always think of their pieces as art, that's why it was perfect for the Met, people could just look at it instead of it being on somebody's body. I still need to look at all my collections, I was sort of trying to take off this season so unfortunately when you do that you don't get to see all the grandiose pieces.
SB: You were active in Haiti relief and now have your jewelry line with Senhoa. What has inspired your humanitarian work at such a young age?
Coco: Well, it was actually my agency that said maybe it would be a good thing to work with groups. It's smart to focus on things other than your career. I didn't know where to start, there just seemed like so many possibilities. There's not a sickness out there that has hit me personally or family-wise, but I knew that I loved to be around children, I had an amazing upbringing and also remember what it felt like to be around people like big-brother, big-sister association. I just thought I would like to be that big sister in helping out different communities. So I started in New York and kinda did a dance thing for the inner city kids, and then went onto bigger things in Canada where we made a group called Step for a Cure where we were helping young kids with cancer. Then Haiti came along, when of course the earthquake hit, we decided we wanted to do something for them. And Senhoa just came along by chance at the wedding. I have made it my mission to make sure everything is always related to children. I feel like kids are so vulnerable, and they are looking up to anyone to take care of them, and they should be. In my career I've tried to be the model that you don't have to sell yourself out in whatever career you decide, you don't have to do everything, you can say no. And I also make sure people understand the charity side of me. The slogan I've sort of gone by is, 'It's nice to be important, but it's important to be nice.'
SB: Your very active on your blog and it's clear you have a lot of fun with it. What do you love most about blogging?
Coco: Well, you think back to when models were only designed for pictures and when you hear stories or so-forth and you wonder if they're true and you believed exactly what other people had to say about the models. I felt like when people would say things about me I had no way of responding to it, so I thought a blog is a perfect thing; I can talk about my weekend, I can talk about my job and then I can also talk about that very important thing that I thought was necessary to talk about. So now when something has been said I at least have the platform that enough people will look and go "I believe what coco has to say." In every other industry people have a chance to defend themselves or talk on their behalf, but models never had that, so my blog has been the perfect means to do that.
SB: What do you hope to be doing in 5 years?
Coco: Well, I don't know what I'll be doing tonight (laughs). I don't think of what my career will be doing, but I just hope I maintain my feet on the ground, and continue the way I'm going. I don't have this "I want to be an actress and an astronaut at the same time!" thing.
See Coco Rocha's lookbook: