Post Linda Evangelista: Coco Rocha’s ‘Brand Image’

“Few models really had [a brand] at that time. I thought that carving out some kind of identity would help with achieving a longer career”, Coco Rocha, 28 year old Canadian model, would tell a business magazine.

Coco Rocha has successfully been able to individuate herself from other ‘over worked’ young models because she’s comfortable with the individuation of the designers who make use of these models .. in order to just focus on her job. “There was this pirate there, and I can’t believe how fabulous he looked.” It was John Galliano. He was watching the girls from afar. I’d have been a nervous wreck had I known who he was!.. I assumed Donna and Karan were twin sisters who had two different lines.”

“I got my start in Taipei, where the industry is based on catalogues that require you to take 75 photos a day, sometimes twice a day. So the casting calls are essentially vogue-offs..” A model would make it into the publication if they liked your pose. ” ..all the models would have a minute to show off their interpretation.” She developed a technique that is more like ‘acting as modelling’. “I honestly thought that’s how you posed—you just stay in constant motion, one pose after another.” That streak of performance (perhaps from her childhood Irish dancing) was different and good enough that, “I think that interested (famous photographer Steven Meisel) and others, too, so it became my shtick.”

Coco Rocha might have decided early on to stay with modelling as her professional occupation. Models can seem like naturally snarky beauties if because the work lacks freedom and the schedule keep them on a short leash. “Most of them are in their late teens and a little on edge because they’re tired and stuck together 24-7.” One of her first choices was to sign an exclusive collaboration contract with famous photographer Steven Meisel, whose credibility in the fashion-media business help elevate the exposure of Coco Rocha’s screen-idol-like style. ‘ In 2008 casting agent James Scully said of Rocha: “Some people feel her look is specific, but I find her to be the most chameleon-like of all the girls” And ‘Tyra Banks (holding a recent Harvard postgraduate diploma herself) referred to her as “The Queen of Posing”.

A year later Coco Rocha voiced her opposition to the myopic peer-pressure in the fashion industry. “When designers, stylists or agents push children to take measures that lead to anorexia or other health problems in order to remain in the business, they are asking the public to ignore their moral conscience in favor of the art” in her reproach to a NY Fashion Week story that ran as “Coco Rocha is too fat for the runway” which drew on comments from those ‘designers, stylists or agents’. In the two years following her reprimand, she was awarded the “Marie Claire’s Prix d’Excellence as their model of the year at a ceremony in Paris ..Rocha was awarded the Seventeen Body Peace award by Seventeen magazine (Rocha had contributed a number of articles to Seventeen on the topic of girls’ body image and self-esteem). On February 14, 2011 Coco was awarded the Elle Style award for ‘Model of the Year’ by Boy George in London.”

Coco Rocha’s made wise use of her own platform of 1 Million fans on social media. “Coco Rocha and husband James Conran both received awards for their philanthropic work at the Pay It Fashion Forward event in Manahattan, NY.” The fashion industry gave her a ‘Style Icon’ award at the Vienna Fashion Award, for introducing a new way of thinking about and seeing the fashion industry in mass media ( the Style Icon ‘honor individuals who have made the most outstanding contributions in setting new paradigms and trends in fashion, broadcasting, culture and arts.’).

Coco Rocha is married to her artist husband James Conran and together they have one kid.

Researched from these sources:
Wikipedia (Coco Rocha)
Wikipedia (Style Icon)
Coco Rocha’s Tumblr
Flare Magazine interview
Canadian Business interview