UK TELEGRAPH - November 1st, 2011 by Aurelia Donaldson Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha talks to the Telegraph about her latest humanitarian project - a range of jewellery to benefit Cambodian exploitation survivors.
While most models are commonly known for lending their face for the top fashion campaigns, storming the catwalks and attending fabulous fashion parties, Coco Rocha is also becoming increasingly known for her humanitarian efforts. The Canadian-born supermodel recently released a short film called ‘Letter to Haiti’ which documented her trip to Haiti shortly after the earthquake destroyed the area. The film, directed by her husband James Conran, follows Rocha as she hands out thousands of letters from people around the world to the children of Haiti.
Her latest philanthropic work benefits the victims of human trafficking and exploitation in Cambodia. Alongside Senhoa, a jewellery company that supports victims of human trafficking by providing income-generating opportunities, Rocha has designed seven jewellery pieces which will be handcrafted by the Cambodian survivors, often children aged 15 and up. Using Swarovski crystals the pieces will be sold on www.senhoa.com/cocorocha , with all proceeds going to Senhoa’s community development projects that rehabilitate and educate the young women of Cambodia.
Rocha has also made sure her fashion friends are involved and enlisted models Iman and Caroline Trentini to join her in the campaign shot by America’s Next Top Model judge and photographer Nigel Barker. Rocha became involved with Senoa after the founder of the site, Lisa T.D. Nguyen, attended her wedding to James Conran in June 2010, during which Rocha wore a dress designed by close friend Zac Posen. The jewellery is available to buy from today on Senoa’s website, where you can also see the campaign and read more about the collection.
With special thanks to Coco Rocha, James Conran, Calvin at Storm Models and Micki Schneider at Wilhelmina Models.
Two down, two to go. New York fashion week ended last Thursday and as usual, there was a little under 24 hours before London Fashion week began. Its so funny to go to the airport and see every model, stylist and editor you can imagine, all cramming onto flights from NY to the UK. I spent a few days in London and did few shows there but I had to leave early this morning to head to Berlin for a job. I’ll be here in Germany for a little over a day followed by Budapest for another job followed by…. Milan and Paris Fashion weeks!!
This season I have James traveling with me for the first time, which is lovely. Going from city to city it can get a little lonely in this industry, so its nice to share this with him. We bought a new digital camera not long back and so James is also documenting everything we do. He actually came and hung out for the amazing Fashions Night Out Show Vogue put on 2 weeks ago and he got some pretty unprecedented backstage access and video. Our friend Gilbert Le edited the footage James took and the result is this little montage. I hope you enjoy it!!
Here we are, Monday of THE busiest week in fashion. Tomorrow night is the first ever Fashions Night Out runway show put on by Vogue magazine. I’ll be one of over 150 models walking in the largest fashion show New York city has ever seen. More than 1,500 ticket holding guests will be spectators in person with millions more watching the live stream on CBS.com - If that wasn’t enough, you can watch a whole CBS documentary about Fashions Night Out on Wednesday, September 15 at 8 pm.
But after the show tomorrow night comes the event I’m most excited to talk to you about and guess what? YOU’RE ALL INVITED!!!
Back in February I hosted an event for Lakay Pam which aimed to raise money for Haiti. The event was more successful than we could have ever imagined, raising over $60,000 for the children of Haiti. In fact it went so well we are going to do it again tomorrow night…
Who’s “we” you may ask?
MODELS! Lots of us. In addition to yours truly top models Aline Weber, Caroline Trentini, Hannah Holman, Lisanne De Jong, Valentina Zaliayeva and Michelle Alves will be there – Victoria’s secret models Alessandra Ambrosio, Candice Swanpoel, Izabel Goulart and Ana Beatriz Barros will be on hand - annnnd, (yes theres more!!) Sport’s Illustrated models Fernanda Motta, Cintia Dicker and Damaris Lewis will all be there. That’s a lot of girls. Please come join us at Opera Gallery 415 West 13th street New York TOMORROW NIGHT at 8:30 pm. There’s an open bar, music by DJ Harley Viera-Newton and amazing sports and fashion items up for auction: For example, you could be the proud owner of a Sport’s Illustrated swimsuit issue signed by the SI girls or a Soccer Ball signed by the entire Milan AC team. Even if you just want to stop by to say hello, your donations will go to good use as 100% of all the proceeds go to rebuilding schools and helping orphans.
One event I look forward to every year is the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Absolutely everyone you can imagine is there, all dressed up like they’re attending a high society event straight out of a Jane Austen novel. I suppose you could think of it as the one big New York event that kicks off the summer social calendar. This year Anna Wintour and Oprah Winfrey hosted the annual event, opening the special exhibit called “American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity” and I was privileged to attend.
I’m sure countless hours of preparation go into this event but for me the prep work started two weeks earlier at Zac Posens atelier. Before I got there Zac had brought a few dresses out of his archive for me to look at. Every one of them was a masterpiece in its own right but by the time I tried on his “cloud dress” my choice was obvious. The cloud dress, you might remember, is from his spring 2008 collection (vintage!) and is a spectacular gown with an incredible 8 foot train. Apparently it had never been worn on a red carpet before either. It looked perfect but the question on everyone’s mind was: how on earth was I going to walk through a room of 600 people with this massive train behind me and not rip the dress or worse!? James had this crazy yet fabulous idea to take my train, flip it up and use it as a cape. It was very 1920’s avant garde and when we tried it, we all loved the idea. Zac’s team went right to work attaching a button and loop hole and in no time my cape was ready to go.
The day of the Gala I was getting ready to leave my house when I realized the dress was a little heavier than I remembered. I turned around a found my dog Peekaboo curled up and taking a nap on the train. Apparently she was quite content being dragged around the house. After ending Peekaboo’s free ride I flipped up my cape, got into the car and headed uptown to the Met. I was so nervous the whole way. The red carpet at the Met Gala can be brutal - with celebrities like Oprah and Justin Timberlake on hand, how can a girl expect to get any attention? James assured me I looked great and told me I had nothing to worry about. As it turned out he was right, the photographers loved the dress and I could barely see straight after the barrage of flashing lights that hit me on the red carpet.
Once inside the Met you get your table number and then ascend another very long staircase up into the cocktail room. This staircase isnt lined with photographers though, its lined with male and female attendants in tuxedo’s and ball gowns every step of the way. Every single attendant has their eyes on you, all silent. Its a very eerie experience, climbing all those steps and then finding at the very top Anna Wintour and Oprah Winfrey are stood waiting to shake your hand.
Once I was inside the cocktail hall I decided it most practical to keep myself and my dress in one spot. I bet Caroline and Hilary both thought me a snob at first, since I wasn’t running over to talk to them, but once they realized my predicament they kindly came and chatted with James and I for the better part of the cocktail hour. At diner I had to ask for the gentleman’s forgiveness before sitting and tried very hard to push as much material under the table as I could.
There were a number of other beautiful dresses at the Met ball but I’ll never forget wearing my cloud dress. I’m so thankful to Zac and his team for making me feel like a true Cinderella story.
Many models have hidden talents that you wouldn’t expect. For instance did you know that Caroline Trentini is a good little singer? Starting at the age of 8, she sang and was so good that they made C.D’s of her songs and sold them in the city of Panambi!!
Believe it or not I love to draw. I don’t have much time for it now but when I’m watching a movie or I’m on a long telephone call, I find myself drawing on the nearest scrap piece of paper. Here are a few of my doodles.
I’m in my hotel room right now with the amazing Caroline Trentini who’s killing some time before she escapes back to Brazil.. and what better way then hanging out with me? Hehe!!! But seriously, she has decided to give me the exclusive interview about her time at the Brazilian Carnival.
I’m passing the keyboard over to her right now….
Hello Coco Rocha’s fans lol !! happy to be talking, well, writing to you all!! So before I run to the airport don’t know if you’re at all interested but here is a pic of me at my first real carnival experience!! Hope you all enjoy!!! kisses… Trentini!!