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Coco Rocha: on modelling and motherhood

LIVING Lola Cristall catches up with Coco Rocha on balancing modelling with motherhood, and how her industry has changed over the last decade and a half
Photographed by Natasha Harri Fuller
Additional photographs by Chello Cruz Photography

 

 


Lola Cristall is Paris Editor of Lucire.

 

The Loacker PowerMom Awards and Summit gathered a number of women to discuss and share their insights on balancing motherhood with their careers. Members of the panel included: supermodel Coco Rocha; the inventor of Boogie Wipes, Mindee Hardin, local news anchor Narmeen Choudhury; and Anne Fader, the founder of MommyPoppins.com. The panel took centre-stage with moderator Yolanda Sangweni, Essence magazine’s digital content director, at Canoe Studios in the heart of New York City.

Earlier in the day, Crystal Black Davis, vice-president of marketing and deputy to the president of Loacker USA, welcomed guests to Eately’s Osteria della Pace in Lower Manhattan for an intimate “pre-event”. That’s where we sat down with Rocha, mother of two-year-old daughter, Ioni Conran, during the pre-event to get the supermodel’s personal perspective on motherhood, her career and fashion.

When asking Rocha about her transition into motherhood she replied, ‘I really didn’t think of it as a transition. Honestly, nothing was that shocking to me, once baby and I kind of got our routine, I decided that it was time to get back to work. I was lucky that I have a job where I can bring Ioni with me to work. On the days that I can’t [bring Ioni with me], she hangs out either with babysitter, Grandma or Grandpa and the routine was really easy.’

Rocha added, ‘I think the reason why it was so successful for me was that I didn’t put too much pressure on the certain way it had to work. Still, everyday is an adjustment; I think that, as any parent, you can understand that a baby doesn’t go by a rule book. No book decides what’s going to happen today, this hour, this minute, you just have to adjust with it. It kind of goes the same with my career, it’s always an adjustment. I think that mentality always was part of me …’

From her perspective as a working mother, the supermodel went on to explain how she feels about her role in the PowerMom Summit. ‘[I am] very honoured and excited. There are so many Moms out there in the whole wide world and to be chosen, I think, is quite amazing especially in the field that I work [in]. I know many amazing Moms and they have four or five kids and they can do everything. They’re literally superheroes in our field, so I am really honuored and excited …’

From Rocha’s role as a mother, which she proudly embraces, we asked her a more fashion-related question on how the industry may have changed over the years, she replied: ‘I mean, it totally has changed in the 14 years that I’ve modelled. When I started, there was no such thing as social media. When I started, you didn’t really know anything about your top models unless you were in the industry. You really didn’t know much about them, you didn’t even know our story or background, so the fact that nowadays you can know about the new face and see what she ate last week and what she’s watching today, all of that, is quite amazing … not only for silly posts like that, but the fact that you can learn all about us.’

From learning about a new face in fashion to having a voice in the industry, she went on: ‘We can have our own voice, so you can write a story on a model, write a nice [story] or write [a] mean [one] whatever; [the model] can use her voice and say, “That’s not the case,” which I love! Most new models don’t quite understand that it is an amazing tool, because they don’t know any other way, so the fact that we now have a voice is amazing!’

Rocha continued to enthusiastically support the power of social media within and around the industry. ‘Now, because of social media, we are seeing the customers saying what they want and what they want to see. So they want to see diversity—of course we’ve always wanted to see it—but now they have a voice for themselves to tell the industry, “I don’t want to see any more black and white, I want to see more colours … I want to see petite models, I want to see sporty girls … we want to see more curvy girls.” They have that voice, so it’s awesome. I don’t see us returning to a time when customers or models don’t have voices. It would shock me if social media just dies tomorrow, but I think we will always have the opportunity to say what we want now …’

We couldn’t help but ask Rocha about her gorgeous and fashionable one-shouldered ensemble. ‘I’m wearing Christian Siriano! He is a very lovely man, so as much as I can, I wear him.’ •

 

 

 

 

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