THE SUPERMODEL ON FASHION, MOM LIFE AND BLOND AMBITION.
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