Real Style - - Contents - BY HEIDI HOFSTAD

The su­per­model on fash­ion, mom life and blond am­bi­tion.

What makes Canada’s own Coco Rocha so cool? The 28-year-old su­per­model works it as a model and mod­ern mom (daugh­ter Ioni James Con­ran re­cently turned two), con­tin­u­ally ex­pand­ing her em­pire while keep­ing up with her fam­ily life. With a port­fo­lio that in­cludes her own model man­age­ment com­pany, de­sign projects like her CO+CO wom­enswear la­bel, count­less mag­a­zine cov­ers, a book on pos­ing, fash­ion awards and TV gigs, Rocha as en­tre­pre­neur is dom­i­nat­ing both on and off the run­way. Real Style spoke with the newly blond babe (a hue rein­ven­tion cre­ated by Bal­main Hair cre­ative di­rec­tor Nabil Har­low) at the red car­pet for the open­ing of TWG Tea Sa­lon & Bou­tique in Van­cou­ver, and by the looks of it, she is liv­ing true to the say­ing that blondes re­ally do have more fun!

“I’ve never been able to go blond, so the fact that I was able to fi­nally is very ex­cit­ing for me,” Rocha says of go­ing to the blond side. “But I love to change. I have gone short, red, black, very long—I think I’m go­ing to stay like this un­til my hair falls out,” she says, re­veal­ing the down­side of tak­ing the plat­inum plunge. “And then we’ll go on to the next thing!”

When the cam­eras aren’t flash­ing, Rocha’s sense of ad­ven­ture ex­tends be­yond beauty, into busi­ness. “You have to be a good del­e­ga­tor, and trust oth­ers to do what they are good at. You can’t do it all alone,” she shares, a les­son learned as a woman in charge. In June 2016, Rocha an­nounced her man­age­ment and own­er­ship stake in NO­MAD MGMT, which lists her­self and a host of other models on its ros­ter. “Right now I’m very ex­cited about my agency, NO­MAD MGMT. Men­tor­ing younger models has been some­thing I’ve done for many years un­of­fi­cially, so the big sis­ter role is one I re­ally en­joy,” she says.

Hav­ing wit­nessed the ups and downs that a mod­el­ling ca­reer based on looks can bring, Rocha seems the ideal can­di­date to ed­u­cate and in­spire up-and-com­ers. Not to men­tion the fact that be­ing a mother to a young daugh­ter brings new per­spec­tive to build­ing self-es­teem and the im­por­tance of en­cour­ag­ing a pos­i­tive self-im­age.

“It’s im­por­tant that there’s no sham­ing. I come from an in­dus­try where it can be tough for young girls be­cause you’re be­ing picked for your outer ap­pear­ance—that’s re­ally all it’s about. I have def­i­nitely felt neg­a­tiv­ity about all of that,” says Rocha be­fore shar­ing how she hopes Ioni will view beauty. “It’s not that she needs to wear makeup or look a cer­tain way. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s a feel­ing. If I can come into a room and wear a gown when no one else is wear­ing a gown and feel fine with it, then that’s how it should be, and I want her to feel the same way.”

When it comes to her par­ent­ing style, Rocha’s ap­proach is laid­back and re­lat­able. “[My ad­vice to] moms out there who are hav­ing a hard time fig­ur­ing out what it’s all about…just go with it. You’re go­ing to make mis­takes— ev­ery­one does, and that’s just be­ing a mom. Don’t pun­ish your­self. And go by your own rule­book. As long as that baby is be­ing loved, as long as that fam­ily is be­ing taken care of, you’re do­ing it all right,” she says.

Ex­ud­ing ma­jor con­fi­dence is com­mon­place for Rocha, who has stacked up more than a few un­for­get­table and fear­less flaunts on the cat­walk. The stage star laughs off nam­ing which de­signer she prefers to work with. “That’s like ask­ing a mom who her favourite child is!” Rocha says, tak­ing a neu­tral po­si­tion. “For run­way, Jean Paul Gaultier has given me some of my most mem­o­rable mo­ments. It all started when he asked me to open his 2007 show with a full-on Ir­ish jig down his 300-foot run­way. I was ter­ri­fied I’d fall off the edge of the cat­walk into some ed­i­tor’s lap! Just this last week I was again in JPG’s cou­ture show in Paris. This time, he had me close the show on a gi­ant swing! It’s al­ways a mo­ment with Mr. Gaultier,” she gushes.

Seam­lessly merg­ing her roles of ca­reer woman, mom and wife (hus­band James Con­ran is also her busi­ness part­ner), Rocha de­scribes her world as a mix of cre­ative work and fam­ily. “My hus­band helps man­age my ca­reer so we usu­ally get to travel to­gether. The great thing about be­ing a new mom now is that I still get to travel and work, but I take my baby and hus­band with me. It’s the three of us, the three ami­gos, all day, ev­ery day. I love it and we wouldn’t want it any other way,” she con­cludes.

Fans can catch their daily glimpse into Coco’s real world through the lens of her var­i­ous so­cial me­dia ac-

counts. Take her Instagram feed, where on any given day you can spy her sip­ping from cop­per pineap­ple-shaped cups along­side Si­enna Miller, or perch­ing Ioni front and cen­tre at her first fash­ion show in Paris. Rocha’s so­cial me­dia fol­low­ing on Instagram, Snapchat, Tum­blr, Twit­ter, Facebook and var­i­ous other so­cial me­dia plat­forms tops over 17 mil­lion fol­low­ers world­wide. In grow­ing her dig­i­tal foot­print, this model mogul is catch­ing the op­por­tu­nity to suc­cess­fully build her own per­sonal brand.

So it’s not sur­pris­ing she has ad­mi­ra­tion for strong women, most no­tably Hol­ly­wood screen leg­end El­iz­a­beth Taylor, when our talk switches to beauty icons. “She was such a pow­er­ful woman in her time. I’m sure there were def­i­nitely some sad and lonely mo­ments, and I think we can all re­late to that. We can be the busiest women in the world and still be a lit­tle lonely in it,” she shares. “We live in a time where there are all these stylists, who can tell you what’s in sea­son, what you should wear, and it’s not about your mood or how you feel you should be por­trayed. Whereas El­iz­a­beth Taylor went by her own rules and wore what­ever she wanted to wear and peo­ple loved her for that. We need to stop go­ing by rules and just wear what we want to wear; just for­get the sea­son, or the time, or the era.”

We can cer­tainly take a cue or two from Coco about dream­ing and achiev­ing big. De­spite be­ing crazy busy in­side and out­side the home, she wel­comes op­por­tu­nity to keep on knock­ing. “I hope I con­tinue to work with the pro­fes­sion­als and cre­atives I love to col­lab­o­rate with, for many years to come. At the same time, I’m ex­cited to try my hand at dif­fer­ent en­tre­pre­neur­ial ven­tures. As long as there are doors open to me, I am go­ing to try to use them.”

Rocha on the Jean- Paul Gaultier run­way at Paris Haute Cou­ture Spring Sum­mer 2017

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