Models 1 talks to the one and only Coco Rocha

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What is your daily beauty routine?

I’m the worst model for this, I don’t have a regime in any way. I just take off my make-up with any remover and wash my face, usually with a L’Oreal Vitamin E of some sort. I always wear make-up, it’s the first thing that goes on when I wake up in the morning. At the moment I’m wearing a Giorgio Armani foundation, YSL mascara. I always wear cover-up and eye liner, at the moment I’m wearing a MAC one. At night I tend to really go for it, I love my orange and red lipsticks from MAC and YSL. I do it all myself, all my events are my own hair and make-up, except at the Met Ball, I get too nervous for that!

I usually leave my hair alone during the day, but at night prep by curling it, and then it’s really up to what I’m wearing that night. I’ve died my hair so much the ends are very fraught, so I just continually put stuff in it throughout the day, anything that just prevents the ends from frizzing, usually just some sort of oil with Vitamin E in it.

I don’t tend to use a cream for my body. I’m always covered up head to toe so if I’m in the sun I’m not hurting myself. I love to go to hot places but I’m covered up completely!

You must spend a lot of your time travelling. What do you make sure you always have on you?

My cell phone. I’m a big social media freak so I always have to have my phone on me. I just bought a mini iPad which will be waiting for me at home. I’m the gadget girl. I have my make-up and all that, but the things I always make sure I have is of course my passport, my gadgets and the plugs for them.

You have a huge social media following. How did you go about building that?

I started out with a blog on Blogspot, and I was just doing the day to day “what’s it like to be a model”. No one was doing that, especially models. In fact, any blogger at the time was someone that wanted to be in the fashion world but no one from the fashion world was doing it. Even if my posts were a bit dumb and cheesy at least people were like “wow, I didn’t know a model did that or hung out with those people.” I was on Twitter and Facebook right when they started, but I didn’t really do much with it until I met my boyfriend. He realised all this might be something one day so suggested jumping on it before everyone else does. So we turned the blog into a bigger thing. If you’re one of the first founders of anything, your numbers will always grow, so I have accounts on things that no one knows even exist yet. When Instagram first came on the scene I got on it, thinking it wasn’t going to go anywhere and actually leaving it alone for about a year before it started to pick up.

How do you discover these new platforms?

When you’re in the tech world you just hear about these things. I spend a lot of time researching into it. I’m a big fan of Mashable, a blog all about tech. Early on we do all these things and if they work, great! If they don’t, we delete the account. Or at least I always get my name on it and see where it goes from there.

What are your favourite spots in London?

I usually stay at The Dorchester when I’m here. London is full of history and they are one of the traditional hotels. I don’t really come to London as often as I’d like to, but I remember staying here for a few weeks and just having a blast. My husband James is originally from Yorkshire so he has some friends here. It’s just nice when I get the opportunity not to work and just have a go at living the life of a Londoner.  It’s so nice here, I just wish I knew more. I know my way around now, I feel like I’m doing pretty good!

You hail from a number of nationalities. Where’s home for you?

New York is home. I’ve been based there through modelling for 10 years and living there full time 7-8 years, so it’s become home. I go back to Canada a lot, but I definitely get excited to go back home, which for me now is New York.

What would you say are some of your career highs and lows?

I think for any model, her low will be that you start in this industry way too young and you might put your trust in people you shouldn’t trust. Often you’re the young, vulnerable, probably dorky girl in school and suddenly people are calling you sexy. It’s just so confusing to young girls, and it frustrates me that people don’t help the models as they should. So I think that’s the lowest point for any model. The high point is doing things that no other girl has done, and probably will never do in their lifetime. You’re meeting people that you hear of in pages of expensive magazines and walking in clothes that only celebrities get to wear. You definitely have to turn around and go, “wait a minute, this is pretty cool”

Tell me about the charities you support?

I work with one in Cambodia called Senhoa. We take girls out of human trafficking and give them jobs as jewellery makers. The programme is from ages 6-18, but at 15-18 we give them jobs as jewellery makers. These girls are actually paid better than the teachers in Cambodia. They’re proper jobs, and of course it’s not a sweat shop, they don’t have to work if they don’t want to. It’s creative, not just plastic and paper. We provide them with Swarovski crystal’s so they feel very fancy with what they’re working with. And then of course the young ones are too young to be working so they get schooling, housing and are taken care of. It’s cute, when they get to 13-14 they’re like “I can’t wait to be a Senhoa girl!”

Since the Haiti earthquake, I’ve been working with a group in New York called Coalition for the Homeless. Usually, everything I do is with kids. I feel like they don’t have a voice, so I respect charities that take care of them.

Something else I support, which isn’t necessarily a charity, but something I feel very strongly about, is The Model Alliance in New York, which was founded by Sara Ziff, and is working to build rights for models. If you think about it, kids that act from a young age have phenomenal rights, and models the same age sometimes don’t even get paid or given food on a job. So working on that is something I get very excited about.

What’s coming up next year? Would you ever try your hand at acting?

My life is currently taken over with The Face, which is exciting. If someone said, “hey, try this out, we’ll teach you. You’ll have a great experience” then great, but I’m never the sort of person that’s like, “I must do it all!! I’m flattered by offers and suggestions, and I’m always happy to try something out, but I’m not the one that’s like “I must be a singer.” I don’t need to do it all.

Contact gemma@models1.co.uk


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