By Calynn M. Lawrence
Coco Rocha is a supermodel of today with not only firey red hair but an inflamed passion for the fashion and arts community. Having amassed an estimated net-worth of over $2 million in barely a decade, and has raised money for charity, she stands as one of the coolest current fashion models today.
Coco was asked if she would like to model by a talent scout in 2002 but was not yet ready. However, this did spark an interest in her so she began to look into modeling as a future pursuit. By 2006, she had began her breakthrough and opened the Christian Lacroix couture show in Paris. After signing with photographer Steven Meisel, she appeared in an editorial with Gemma Ward and Amanda Moore and landed the cover of the April 2006 issue of Vogue. Come Paris Fashion Week, she walked for huge designers like Stella McCartney, Shiatzy Chen, Christian Lacroix, Emanuel Ungaro, and Marc Jacobs. In 2007, Rocha opened Jean Paul Gaultier’s Scottish Highlands-inspired Fall/Winter 2007 show by Irish-dancing down the runway. American Vogue dubbed this the “Coco Moment.”
Rocha has been the face of a variety of advertising campaigns that include(but not only) Versace, Americana Manhasset, Balenciaga, Chanel, D&G, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Lanvin, The Gap, Ports 1961, Tommy Hilfiger, and Yves Saint Laurent. She has appeared in editorials for (but not only) American, Italian, Korean, French, Russian, Spanish, Brazilian, Japanese, Mexican, and British Vogue, British, Canadian, Czech, French, Quebec, and Italian Elle V, and W.
She appeared as herself in The September Issue, a fly-on-the-wall documentary film about American Vogue magazine.
As far as her television pursuits, she has done quite a bit of that as well. Rocha hosted the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards white carpet. On October 19, 2011 she appeared as a guest judge on America’s Next Top Model. In 2013, Rocha was one of three coaches and judges on the first season of the Oxygen network reality show The Face. In 2015, in the 9th cycle of Australia’s Next Top Model, Rocha appeared in the series’ 9th episode and gave the girls a lesson on posing.
Rocha has always been vocal about the pressures of being thin and those dangers in modeling. In an open letter to The New York Times on her blog, she wrote, “How can any person justify an aesthetic that reduces a woman or child to an emaciated skeleton? Is it art? Surely fashion’s aesthetic should enhance and beautify the human form, not destroy it.”In an email to the Associated Press, she wrote: “I’ll never forget the piece of advice I got from people in the industry when they saw my new body … They said, ‘You need to lose more weight. The look this year is anorexia. We don’t want you to be anorexic but that’s what we want you to look like.’
In June 2011, Coco announced a partnership with Canadian fashion retailer Jacob for a “Photoshop-free” campaign. On her blog Rocha said she hoped the shoot could “balance the scales a little by pulling so far back from what has been the current trend of total digital model manipulation.”
On November 1, 2011 Coco launched Coco Rocha for Senhoa, a collection produced together with Senhoa, an organization helping Cambodian survivors of human trafficking. The capsule collection contained 7 unique pieces designed by Rocha and hand crafted by the survivors of human trafficking. All proceeds went directly to the Senhoa program. To help raise awareness for the cause, Rocha brought in additional models Chanel Iman, Caroline Trentini, and Behati Prinsloo.
To name just a few of the awards that Miss Rocha has been given, here are some: Marie Claire’s Prix d’Excellence, Seventeen Body Peace award, Elle Style award for ‘Model of the Year’ , Pay It Fashion Forward, “Model of the Year Award” at the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards , and Vienna Fashion Award as Style Icon.
Despite such success, she remains truly humble and continues her diligent stride at making fashion humanitarian as well as artistic.