Coco Rocha is the woman every girl dreams of becoming.
She’s one of the world’s top-earning supermodels. She’s modeled for fashion houses like Marc Jacobs, Versace, Prada, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana. She’s been cover girl for Harper’s Bazaar and W. For Vogue, she’s appeared on many international editions.
Did we mention she’s only 21? Rocha, born Mikhaila Rocha in Vancouver, was discovered by a talent scout at age 14. She’s the co-producer, with fashion website Modelinia.com, of She’s a Genius, a new music video celebrating fashion that’s set to JET’s song with the same name from their just-released album Shaka Rock.
Q. She’s A Genius shows a day in your life. What’s a day in your life really like?
I leave for work, take pictures, and go back home. It’s not that glamorous. Sometimes I go to movies or go out for dinner. It’s the life of a normal working girl.
Q. What does it take to become a supermodel?
You just have to be yourself. A lot of girls can’t say no, but the most successful models are the ones who stick to their values. Many up-and-coming photographers put a lot of pressure on models, but more experienced photographers don’t.
Q. Backstage photos usually show models smoking. How do you pass the time backstage?
I read books. I’m an old romantic type; I read books like (Jane Austen’s) Sense and Sensibility. Right now I’m reading The History of Love.
Q. What is models’ unhealthiest habit?
I don’t like to comment on other people’s habits. But smoking doesn’t make you any more successful in this business. Neither does not eating.
Q. How do you stay in shape?
I eat a lot of fruit and salads. I have a dancer’s body, which is more muscular, I have to be especially careful with what I eat before shows. Muscles don’t look good on photos. You just look fat.
Q. You were discovered by a model scout at an Irish dance competition, and in 1997 you opened a Jean Paul Gaultier show with an Irish dance. Why is dancing important to you?
When younger models ask me for advice about the business, I always tell them not to surround themselves with people from the fashion business 24/7. For me dancing is an outlet, so when I’m frustrated with modeling I dance. It’s very good for you to have a passion outside of modeling.
Q. Advice to young girls?
If you don’t love it, don’t do it. Stick to your moral values. People will respect you, and you will respect yourself. Don’t look at magazine covers and say “I want to look like her.” That’s what I think when I see photos of myself, too! People don’t realize how much editing goes into fashion photos.