PRESS CONFERENCE CELEBRATING NEW LEGISLATION PROTECTING CHILD MODELS IN NEW YORK! There are a few events that will forever stand out as milestones in my career, and today is one such occasion. When I signed on as an advisory board member of The Model Alliance in early 2012, I spoke with Sara about our hopes and goals. We knew we had a long, hard road ahead of us and success was not promised - in fact, most highly doubted we’d make any lasting impression. Fashion is an industry that on one hand embraces the new, but on the other hand viciously resists change. In February of 2012 I hoped, but could not dare to assume, that we would be able to change the status quo as we are witnessing today. Having once been a child model myself, I know all too well that, up until now, a large underage workforce has lived and worked under very little legal protection in 21st century New York. The fact is, the fashion industry’s attempt at self-regulation has not been enough to ensure a safe working environment for its large army of minor models. For a long time these children have needed and deserved the same basic protections afforded other child performers working in New York and I could not be happier that this is coming into place, thanks in no small part to the passion and diligence of Sara Ziff, The Model Alliance and the senators present. Regardless of any anticipated extra burden of regulation, record keeping or expense, acting in the best interests of our children’s health and well-being is, and always should be, a given. I’m so excited to see us make a huge step in the right direction, and I’m thrilled that Ive been able to be a part of such a momentous moment which is sure to change the future of our industry for the better.

PRESS CONFERENCE CELEBRATING NEW LEGISLATION PROTECTING CHILD MODELS IN NEW YORK! There are a few events that will forever stand out as milestones in my career, and today is one such occasion. When I signed on as an advisory board member of The Model Alliance in early 2012, I spoke with Sara about our hopes and goals. We knew we had a long, hard road ahead of us and success was not promised - in fact, most highly doubted we’d make any lasting impression. Fashion is an industry that on one hand embraces the new, but on the other hand viciously resists change. In February of 2012 I hoped, but could not dare to assume, that we would be able to change the status quo as we are witnessing today. Having once been a child model myself, I know all too well that, up until now, a large underage workforce has lived and worked under very little legal protection in 21st century New York. The fact is, the fashion industry’s attempt at self-regulation has not been enough to ensure a safe working environment for its large army of minor models. For a long time these children have needed and deserved the same basic protections afforded other child performers working in New York and I could not be happier that this is coming into place, thanks in no small part to the passion and diligence of Sara Ziff, The Model Alliance and the senators present. Regardless of any anticipated extra burden of regulation, record keeping or expense, acting in the best interests of our children’s health and well-being is, and always should be, a given. I’m so excited to see us make a huge step in the right direction, and I’m thrilled that Ive been able to be a part of such a momentous moment which is sure to change the future of our industry for the better.

The Business of Modeling from The Model Alliance on Vimeo.

We here at Fashionista are continually impressed by the efforts the Model Alliance is making to improve working conditions within the industry, so we’re teaming up with them to bring you the latest from their movement. We’ll be hearing from them about everything from broadening child labor laws to changing the sample size. Today, Coco Rocha tells us about her personal struggles in the industry and what makes a good model. Plus, we have an exclusive video of Rocha at a recent Model Alliance event giving young models advice on the importance of having the right agent and avoiding creepy photogs.

I came into this business knowing nothing about fashion. I was a young girl from Vancouver, Canada who wore boot cut jeans and an oversized sweatshirt every day to school. Becoming a model was never an aspiration of mine, but at 14 I was scouted at an Irish dance competition and after some initial resistance found myself modeling in Asia and working on my portfolio.

After that I moved to New York where I found the agents I still work with to this day and started down a path that would lead to working with some of the world’s greatest photographers and designers. I was pulled from relative obscurity and given an amazing international life, but it was not without its ups and downs.

There were times when I was very lonely and felt an enormous pressure from adults around me to give up values and beliefs I held dear. Through trial and error I learned my rights and I learned to stand up for myself. I realized the benefit of an ironclad contract. In my contract today I state that due to my religious beliefs I won’t shoot nude or sheer clothing, or with cigarettes, weapons or religious icons. Even after nearly 10 years I still I find occasions when clients will push the issue, making it uncomfortable for everyone. It gets better though.

As I’ve moved from being a girl to a woman, and now a married woman, I feel more and more confident in my own skin every day. It’s something that comes with age and experience, which is why I wish most models would start a little later than the usual 14 or 15-years-old when they are so vulnerable and easily influenced. 



Read More

COCO ROCHA: POWDER PLAY
By Jessica Conatser

In this round of Milk Made Photo Stories, we celebrate Photographer James Houston’s completion of his latest photo series, Natural Beauty – debuting at Milk Gallery April 23rd.

From nailing the first shot all the way to accidentally walking off set with green hair, top model, Coco Rocha and Houston share their personal experiences with us on what it was like to capture the “Powder Play” image for his project in support of Global Green USA.

Coco’s Story: “Working alongside James Houston and Zanna Roberts Rassi is always a pleasure and I’m very proud of this whole project. The pigment used in my shoot literally turned my hair green for a day following, but since it was for a “green project” it was all worth it. It’s a privilege to be part of this “Global Green” project and it pushes me to think about what else I can do. I hope that those who have the chance to see it will leave inspired and want to do what they can to make the world a greener place too.” – Coco Rocha

James’ Story: “Working on a project this large is like shooting a massive magazine issue. I am constantly thinking about new ideas and the overall vision. I was looking at a lot of nature shots for reference and inspiration and happened to come across an exploding pollen tree.. Sounds crazy! I’d never seen one before but loved the image and idea.

When I finally got to shoot with Coco Rocha I wanted to use this concept as I knew she was an incredible mover and bright Indian Festival powders on her body would help illustrate the movement and energy she brings to set. We started with one color and the first jump she did ended up in the book. That is the jumping image you see here. As she continued to jump and move we added more and more colors. By the end she was literally covered head to toe in powder like she had been in an actual Indian festival.” – James Houston

DUJOUR MAGAZINE - COCO ROCHA: MODEL CITIZEN

With her strong beliefs and her social-media savvy, Rocha—on Oxygen’s The Face—is a standout in her field

By Lindsay Silberman

The first thing that strikes you about Coco Rocha is, of course, her face. It has those perfect angles, the sharp, sculpted ones that seem to be a prerequisite for becoming a model. But before you can even process the rest of her otherworldly appearance—her flawless ivory complexion, her piercing blue eyes, her slim yet towering frame—you sense there’s a certain depth to her, something a bit more complex.

We’ve arranged to chat over lunch at a casual cafe-bakery in Manhattan’s Flatiron District. She arrives early, having taken the train in from New York’s Westchester County. “I honestly don’t mind it,” she says about taking public transportation. “People do it in any other city. It feels normal.” (She and her husband, muralist James Conran, moved there a year ago.)

As she enters the cafe, the 24-year-old doesn’t walk so much as float—a skill she picked up from her years on the runway. And if the people sitting at the tables near us don’t immediately recognize her, they probably whispered over their turkey sandwiches, “She has to be a model.” Today, the massive fur coat, black pants and stilettos she’s wearing are a dead giveaway.

Her first request is surprising: With autumn in the air, she’s in the mood for pumpkin pie today, so would it be OK if she had a slice for lunch? The Canadian-born model has recently wrapped production for Oxygen’s The Face, a new reality show (premiering February 12 at 9PM ET/PT) in which young women compete to become the face of Ulta Beauty. The show bills itself as giving a more realistic depiction of the challenges and demands of modeling than America’s Next Top Model—a series notorious for its jumping-out-of-planes and posing-with-snakes theatrics. Rocha serves as a mentor and coach for a team of four fledgling models, who compete against squads led by supermodels Naomi Campbell and Karolina Kurkova. Every week, each team competes to win an actual job.

It’s an opportunity the thoughtful, soft-spoken Rocha describes as “surreal,” and understandably so. Her career—gracing the cover of Vogue, walking the runways at the Paris, Milan and New York fashion shows, appearing in ad campaigns for Chanel and YSL—is unusual for someone like her. Rocha is a devout Jehovah’s Witness, as is her husband. “My faith is everything,” she declares. Raised by her mother, Rocha has been a Jehovah’s Witness her entire life, but she wasn’t baptized until 2009—the religion requires that individuals be old enough to make their own decisions before committing.

Read More

Oceana Magazine - Super Role Model

One of the unexpected responsibilities that goes along with being a model or public figure is that your actions can and will affect lots of younger people who may look up to you. It’s something I’ve tried to take seriously over the years because I feel there is a severe lack of good role models in the media for young people to emulate.

The above editorial and interview go along with the Oceana covers I posted earlier this week. The magazine’s primary focus is on the juxtaposition of fashion, charity and leadership, so I was happy to talk a lot about my favorite charities and why I support them. Senhoa is a group in Cambodia that rescues little girls from human trafficking and gives them a home, an education and a job. I designed a special jewelry line for Senhoa and asked my friends Behati Prinsloo, Caroline Trentini and Iman to model it and my fellow The Face castmate Nigel Barker to photograph it. 

LakayPam is a group in Haiti that supports and nurtures hundreds of orphans, many of whom were affected by the earthquake. In addition to fundraising events, my husband James, Behati and I traveled down to Haiti to create a documentary (click HERE to watch) and raise awareness for the ongoing difficulties in that country.  

The Model Alliance is a New York-based group which is fighting for fair and safe working standards for younger models. Though we are a new group, we have already seen lots of industry support and incremental change for the better.

If you’re interested, please read more in the articles posted above or click the tags to the right!

Xx
Coco 

Oceana Magazine - 2012
Covers 1 & 2

Oceana is the first national, charity-based periodical that celebrates the marriage of high-end Canadian fashion, art, photography and leadership. When they asked me to be their 2012 cover girl and told me all profits from the magazine go to Sick Kids Hospital, I jumped at the opportunity. Stay tuned for the editorial and interview where I discuss some of the charities close to my heart.

Both cover photos by Chris Nicholls. Which one is your favorite?

DENNIS BASSO - Behind-the-scenes

You might have seen this featured in this months W Magazine but heres a little behind the scenes look at the fall winter Dennis Basso campaign courtesy of James and his iPhone! As a side note, tonight I’ll be joining Dennis at The Silver Hill Hospital Gala to raise scholarship funds for children who suffer from depression, substance abuse and related problems. Follow me at @CocoRocha on instagram for updates through-out the evening.

Xx
Coco 

ARTWALK - 2012

I’m very excited to let you all know that I’m co-host of this year’s Fendi-sponsored NY Coalition for Homeless ARTWALK on November 7th. I’ve supported this cause for a few years now and I’ve seen firsthand how important its work is for New York’s homeless. This year we’re honoring Jack Pierson with Richard Gere and Carey Lowell. Please buy your tickets while you can at COALITIONFORHOMELESS.ORG.

As a side note, last year’s ARTWALK had me dancing this little jig for Alec Baldwin and Richard Gere, who were sitting front row. Who knows what will happen in 2012!

xx
Coco 

LEARN THE ROPES OF HIGH FASHION POSINGCoco Rocha & Christie’s: Bid to Save the Earth
Have you or a friend ever wanted to learn how to pose like a high fashion model? If you go to www.charitybuzz.com before Thursday you can bid on a private lesson for you and a friend in high fashion posing, photo movement and runway walking with…. me! All proceeds will go to a great cause - Christie’s Green Auction: A Bid to Save the Earth.Please reblog this article if you have followers interested in fashion and modeling.

LEARN THE ROPES OF HIGH FASHION POSING
Coco Rocha & Christie’s: Bid to Save the Earth

Have you or a friend ever wanted to learn how to pose like a high fashion model? If you go to www.charitybuzz.com before Thursday you can bid on a private lesson for you and a friend in high fashion posing, photo movement and runway walking with…. me! All proceeds will go to a great cause - Christie’s Green Auction: A Bid to Save the Earth.

Please reblog this article if you have followers interested in fashion and modeling.