Fashion

Model DNA: Coco Rocha

By:
Elle Canada
Fashion

Model DNA: Coco Rocha

By:
Famous for her striking features, fierce walk and bubbly personality, Toronto-born Coco Rocha may be an international supermodel — not to mention Vogue magazine darling and model muse to the likes of Steven Meisel and Jean Paul Gaultier — but the 21-year-old is careful not to let the attention go to her head. “I’m one of those funny girls that didn’t know what a supermodel was, nor did I know they even existed,” she laughs. “From the beginning I never expected anything, I took it very step by step and I think that’s the best way to do it because I was just thrilled with each new thing.”

And despite her supermodel status, Coco isn’t about to rest on her laurels now. In fact, she may just be the hardest working girl in the biz. Between fittings, fashion shows and magazine shoots, Coco somehow finds time to charm industry heavy-weights as a correspondent with Entertainment Tonight and E! Talk, design her own fashion line, ROCOCO, which she hopes to debut at the end of this year and plan her upcoming nuptials to muralist/interior designer James Conran. “It’s a busy time but I have a lot of people who support me and help me out so I’m really lucky!” she says.

After the frenzy of Paris Fashion Week — where she rocked the runway for coveted shows a la Chanel, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and of course Jean Paul Gaultier — Coco took time out to tackle our infamous Model DNA questionnaire and give us the scoop on her plans for the big day.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being totally and completely comfortable with yourself.

What do you consider your worst trait?
Jumping to conclusions. I think everyone does it but, man, I hate when that happens.

If you could choose an occupation other than your own what would it be?
Definitely dance. I don’t know how you make money from dance but that’s what I would do!

Best moment of your career so far?

There are a few: being named one of Steven Meisel’s girls in American Vogue (“The Godfather,” May 2009) and taking a picture with him and Linda Evangelista and all his top girls — that was a big honour! Dancing down the runway with Jean Paul Gaultier…fighting down the runway with Jean Paul Gaultier! There are a lot of things I’ll look back on and think, “that was amazing!”

Favourite fashion shoot?
The Romeo and Juliet shoot with Annie Leibovitz for American Vogue (“Love of a Lifetime,” December 2008). I love anything with a storyline and a lot was put into that so I really enjoyed it.

Were there any models you looked up to when you were starting out?
I remember being really in awe of Daria Werbowy. She was — and still is — number one on every hit. I was just really enthused about this other Canadian model who was doing so well in the industry.

Coco shares her personal style secrets on the next page ...


Check out our favourite Coco Rocha runway moments here!

Runway rocker: Erin Wasson
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Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I say “good times” a lot with my friends and lately I keep calling James “boo.” I don’t know what that is, but it’s my new word. I have to stop.

What is your most treasured possession?
I remember always thinking that if there was a fire, the one thing I would grab is my baby bear. Not my dog, not James. Baby bear. He was in my crib before I came home and if you see any of my travel photos from age 0 to 12, he’s in every one.

Any tattoos?
I had a grampa who had a lot of tattoos from the war and I saw how horrible they looked when he got old so never will I ever get a tattoo.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Right now the wedding! I’m trying not to be extravagant but I think its every girl’s dream to have a gorgeous wedding.

Fashion trend you wish would disappear?
Ugg boots need to go, they’re just ugly. Leave the world!

How would you describe your personal style?
I’m a vintage girl. I love clothing from the late 1800s to the 50s. Anything unique I love. A lot of my pieces are high-waisted, have button collars, great shoulders, and I love my jackets! I could wear the same pants and t-shirt 24/7 and just change the jacket — it always transforms the outfit.

What are your five key wardrobe pieces?
A pair of black jeans, amazing boots, a favourite top you can wear over and over and over, a bag that can fit your whole house and a great winter jacket because that’s what you’re seen in the most.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Staying who I am. I don’t think over the years that I’ve changed much — I feel like I’m still the Coco that everyone remembers and that was always my goal.

What’s the biggest lesson you learned in the past year?
Last year I started to feel a little overloaded. For so long it was travel here, go there, get this done, get that done, and I felt like I wasn’t living much of a life. It was just work, work, work, so I needed to slow down and take care of me…and now I’m happier than ever!

Describe your perfect Sunday?
A sunny Sunday! As long as it’s sunny, it’s perfect. I don’t care what I’m doing! Like today is my favourite day, it is so sunny out, I can’t believe it!

How did James propose?
He took me to a beautiful castle in France and he proposed there. We’re actually going to be married there as well.

Do you have any designers in mind for your wedding dress?
I doooo! I just met with Zac Posen last week — he’ll be making my dress!

Do you want a big wedding or a small, quiet ceremony?

We’re only having about 60 people so its not going to be too big at all.

What do you most value in your friends?

Honesty. I’m around a lot of people who sometimes feel like they have to please me all the time, so with friends I need them to just be honest.

What’s your twitter policy?
I think in this new era of technology, if you want to get acquainted with fans and just let people know that we’re real people, this is the way to do it. It’s interesting but it can be overwhelming sometimes. I give a little bit but people always want more, more, more.

What will you do when you retire?
Live in a swamp in Botswana! I don’t know, I think I’d want to get away from everything and just relax. I love the idea of going to a place where there’s nothing around you — it just sounds amazing.

Finish this sentence:
“People think I’m fake but this is really me.”
A lot of people think I’m overly nice or this couldn’t really be me, “Miss. Goody Two Shoes,” but in fact I am a Goody Two Shoes! I’m not fake with anyone, this is who I am.

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Model DNA: Coco Rocha