LIFE via INSTAGRAM (Part One) - February 20th to 28th

In this installment of Life via Instagram I try a new look, get some air time on TV and do my best to beat the cold! 

  1. I found my musty old Irish dance wig while helping my mom move. We were required to wear these while dancing. Do you think this should be my next hair style?
  2. Doing my best Alfred Hitchcock on set.
  3. It’s an Anna sandwich!!
  4. Did you catch The Model Alliance’s Sara Ziff and myself talking with Katie Couric about protecting young models? 
  5. With Erin O’Connor, the epitome of a muse and a model’s model. Learn from this one - she puts the super back in supermodel.
  6. Wearing a Dsquared2 suit and drinking coffee with a straw (to save my lipstick) backstage at Steven And Chris.
  7. Shooting portraits in pure northern light with Michael Avedon.
  8. Hug us, we’re cute. #throwbackthursday
  9. Running around town trying to dodge the cold. Wearing my faves - jacket by Nasty Gal, bag by Rebecca Minkoff, glasses by Zac Posen and shoes by Y3

NYFW via INSTAGRAM (Part One) - February 5th to 7th

And so it is fashion month. Here is the first installment of this season’s Life via Instagram - #NYFW edition. At the beginning of this whirlwind week I got to see some pretty ladies, wear some cool clothes and celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the Model Alliance. 

  1. The #SuperBowl may be over, but the sex trafficking of young women around big events continues to be a shocking problem right here at home. Go to www.notsosuper.org to find out more. #notsosuper
  2. So excited to see my original model BFF Behati Prinsloo at #amfAR tonight!!!
  3. Hanging with the most glamorous girls of #amfAR: Ireland Baldwin and Gigi Hadid.
  4. The #selfeye is the new #selfie! Here’s mine wearing Max Factor UK’s Excess Volume Mascara! Now I wanna see you post yours! Don’t forget the #SelfEye hashtag.
  5. Much love to The Model Alliance on our 2nd anniversary today! So proud of our efforts - this New York Fashion Week will be the first with real legal protection for child models! Hope you all have a great week! Xx Coco
  6. NYC traffic is horrendous today, but I made it in time for my first show of NYFW - BCBG by Max Azria. Max was one of the earliest supporters of my career! #bcbglive
  7. My second look of the day is the Macy’s #MADE4Impulse line by my friends at Made Fashion Week! It’s the perfect little black dress. Get the look at www.macys.com.
  8. My outfit today - #MADE4Impulse skirt by Macy’s & Made FW paired with a Rebecca Minkoff top and bag. Snow courtesy of my backyard! #NYFW
  9. The other day I gave a private tour of the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum to a small group. Make sure you go to Brooklyn to see this amazing exhibit before it ends on February 23rd!
How New York’s Recently Passed Model Law Could Change Fashion Week by Fashionista.com

I think it’s a pivotal point in fashion,” Model Alliance member Coco Rocha tells us. “This fashion week is kind of a moment in time where we’re changing the history of fashion, and I’m excited to be part of it”.

I got a chance to sound off on Fashionista.com to discuss how the new Model Alliance law could affect NYFW. As you know, the recent passing of a law protecting underaged models last November was a huge victory for the modeling industry. Fashion Week begins February 6th, and I am anxious to see the results of this new legislation.
Click here to read the full article!

How New York’s Recently Passed Model Law Could Change Fashion Week by Fashionista.com

I think it’s a pivotal point in fashion,” Model Alliance member Coco Rocha tells us. “This fashion week is kind of a moment in time where we’re changing the history of fashion, and I’m excited to be part of it”.

I got a chance to sound off on Fashionista.com to discuss how the new Model Alliance law could affect NYFW. As you know, the recent passing of a law protecting underaged models last November was a huge victory for the modeling industry. Fashion Week begins February 6th, and I am anxious to see the results of this new legislation.

Click here to read the full article!


A New Alliance Steps Up to Protect a New Generation of ModelsBy Steven Greenhouse for The New York TimesSara Ziff was a 14-year-old student at the Bronx High School of Science when a fashion photographer “discovered” her as she was returning to her family’s apartment in Greenwich Village.Within months, she was modeling for Calvin Klein and Seventeen magazine, but she soon encountered some compromising situations. When her modeling agency sent her to a photographer’s apartment for a shoot, he told her to take off all her clothes. At age 15, she was sent to another shoot where drugs flowed freely and she was ordered to pose against a backdrop of explicit images from an adult magazineAt 16, Ms. Rocha recalled that she was 108 pounds and 5-feet-11. Still, she said her agency pressured her to lose weight.Years later, Anna Wintour, the longtime Vogue editor who now is artistic director for Condé Nast, Vogue’s parent, invited Ms. Rocha to join a panel on how to improve the industry. Ms. Wintour, she said, “made me think I could really help change the industry to the good if I found the right place.” For her, that place is the Model Alliance.“I want to leave the industry as not just someone who had some covers and some campaigns, but as someone who improved the industry,” Ms. Rocha said.“It’s a great industry. I love it. But like all industries, it needs some change.”READ MORE HERE - http://nyti.ms/1cts4nG

Great new article about The Model Alliance in today’s New York Times. Please check it out! Xx Coco

A New Alliance Steps Up to Protect a New Generation of Models
By Steven Greenhouse for The New York Times

Sara Ziff was a 14-year-old student at the Bronx High School of Science when a fashion photographer “discovered” her as she was returning to her family’s apartment in Greenwich Village.

Within months, she was modeling for Calvin Klein and Seventeen magazine, but she soon encountered some compromising situations. When her modeling agency sent her to a photographer’s apartment for a shoot, he told her to take off all her clothes. At age 15, she was sent to another shoot where drugs flowed freely and she was ordered to pose against a backdrop of explicit images from an adult magazine

At 16, Ms. Rocha recalled that she was 108 pounds and 5-feet-11. Still, she said her agency pressured her to lose weight.

Years later, Anna Wintour, the longtime Vogue editor who now is artistic director for Condé Nast, Vogue’s parent, invited Ms. Rocha to join a panel on how to improve the industry. Ms. Wintour, she said, “made me think I could really help change the industry to the good if I found the right place.” For her, that place is the Model Alliance.

“I want to leave the industry as not just someone who had some covers and some campaigns, but as someone who improved the industry,” Ms. Rocha said.

“It’s a great industry. I love it. But like all industries, it needs some change.”

READ MORE HERE - http://nyti.ms/1cts4nG

Great new article about The Model Alliance in today’s New York Times. Please check it out! Xx Coco

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 PROTECTION OF MINOR MODELS WORKING IN NEW YORK

Today was a very important day for models who work in the fashion capital of New York. Today New York Senator Klein and Senator Savino along with The Model Alliance announced new legislature likely to pass this week that will finally include underage print and runway models in the labor laws that already protect other child performers like actors, singers and dancers. This was something I’ve been speaking publicly about for the last 4 years, so it is particularly thrilling for me to see this issue finally gain the attention it deserves. I’m very thankful I was invited to speak on my personal experiences as a model in New York City. Below is a transcript of my speech:

Hello - My name is Coco Rocha and I’m a model based here in New York. I’d like to thank Senator Klein, Senator Savino and the Model Alliance for asking me to be here today.

For me, this issue is personal. Like Sara Ziff and so many professional models, I was scouted at the ripe old age of 14. By the time I was 16  I was living and working alone here in New York City. During my 10 years as a model I’m fortunate enough to have realized many of my professional goals, though not without feeling enormous pressure to agree to demands and make certain choices that no young person should ever have to deal with.  

The fact is, too often young models find themselves forced to forego their education and their values in order to pursue their career, only to wind up with nothing. I will never forget being 15 years old, alone on a set as a photographer tried to harass, heckle and even threaten me into taking a semi-nude photo. I recall with sickening clarity the first time I was told (in no uncertain terms) to lose weight that I definitely couldn’t afford to lose because, as this person said, “the look this year is anorexia.”  

There were times as a young model when I was very lonely and felt an enormous pressure from the adults working 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 decided that I wouldn’t allow myself to be degraded or treated unfairly and I’m now able to walk away from that treatment because, firstly, I’m established as a model and, second, I’m now an adult. But what about the young and aspiring models? For children and young teens who just want to please, the pressure to succumb to demands from adults is often damaging and life altering - dropping out of school; foregoing education and their health; allowing predators, sexual and otherwise, to harass and victimize - it has to stop.  And although the industry has tried self-regulation, it just hasn’t been enough. 

That is why I am here today, to convey to you my ongoing concerns about the health and well-being of children and teens who are working in the modeling industry. 

When it comes to protecting our children, the moral argument should override any perceived inconvenience of rules, record keeping or expense. That fact has long been acknowledged as true for other child performers like actors, dancers and singers who all enjoy protections under law in New York.  For reasons unknown to me, this has never applied to child models. I’m thankful that this has been noted by both The Model Alliance and by Senators Klein and Savino. I am thrilled that they are helping to correct this discrepancy by proposing that print and runway models under 18 have the same protections as all other child performers working in New York State. These protections are basic, necessary and long overdue.  

I believe we all agree that there are natural human standards of how we treat one another and especially of how we treat children. On behalf of the many models I know and love, I thank you for all your hard work and your time. I’m confident that through continued efforts we can ensure a safer environment for the next generation.

Thank you.

(If you’d like to read more of my thoughts on modeling and the industry, please go HEREHEREHERE and HERE. Also be sure to check out ModelAlliance.Org.)

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

LIFE VIA INSTAGRAM - April 11th to 22nd

In this installment of “Life Via Instagram” I catch up with my redhead big sister Karen Elson at the Roger Vivier book launch, host a very special event with The Model Alliance at Columbia University and check out the James Houston Natural Beauty exhibit at Milk Studios.

  1. Heading to the Roger Vivier book launch at the French embassy. Such an important figure in women’s shoes!!
  2. Just watched my dear friend Karen Elson play at the French embassy in New York. She had us enraptured.
  3. With Karen Elson at the Roger Vivier party.
  4. I joined the The Model Alliance for a very special workshop at Columbia University!
  5. In addition to hosting the MTV Movie Awards pre-show, Miss Karlie Kloss made sure James and me have our cookies for the week!
  6. My third campaign with Longchamp was shot in the legendary TWA building at the JFK airport. Check out these throwback pics of the landmark from the 1960s - it still looks futuristic fifty years later!
  7. Lookie what came in the mail!! Who else was excited for this year’s PUNK: Chaos To Couture-themed MET Gala!?
  8. Taking Dannijo’s “Eddie The Earring” with me to dinner at Milk Studios.
  9. It’s me!! At James Houston’s Natural Beauty exhibit at Milk Studios.

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 

Breaking News from The New York Times!

Vogue Adopts a 16-and-Over Modeling Rule

By ERIC WILSON

Beginning with their June issues, the editors of the 19 international editions of Vogue magazine have made a pact to stop using models under age 16 or those who, from the viewpoint of the editors, appear to have an eating disorder.

In a somewhat unusual announcement, unusual in that the magazines are wading into a controversial issue, the Condé Nast International chairman, Jonathan Newhouse, said on Thursday, “Vogue editors around the world want the magazines to reflect their commitment to the health of the models who appear on the pages and the well-being of their readers.”

For decades, fashion magazines have been criticized for upholding an unrealistic standard of beauty, and even more so with the widespread use of digital retouching that often results in images of models and celebrities that have no basis in reality. While Vogue editors like Anna Wintour, of the American edition, and Franca Sozzani, of Italy, have participated in recent efforts by the Council of Fashion Designers of America to promote healthier behavior in the modeling industry, the magazines have not typically issued their own standards.

The fashion council released its own guidelines to designers and modeling agencies last season, asking them not to use models younger than 16 on their runways, and most have complied. The designer Marc Jacobs, however, disagreed with the council on that point and did use some models under that age, represented by Ford Models, in his show.

The Vogue announcement included the following six-point pact.

“1. We will not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder. We will work with models who, in our view, are healthy and help to promote a healthy body image.

“2. We will ask agents not to knowingly send us underage girls and casting directors to check IDs when casting shoots, shows and campaigns.

“3. We will help to structure mentoring programs where more mature models are able to give advice and guidance to younger girls, and we will help to raise industry-wide awareness through education, as has been integral to the Council of Fashion Designers of America Health Initiative.

“4. We will encourage producers to create healthy backstage working conditions, including healthy food options and a respect for privacy. We will encourage casting agents not to keep models unreasonably late.

“5. We encourage designers to consider the consequences of unrealistically small sample sizes of their clothing, which limits the range of women who can be photographed in their clothes, and encourages the use of extremely thin models.

“6. We will be ambassadors for the message of healthy body image.”

Time for another weekly installment of the random things I found on the interweb this week (If you missed last week’s, go HERE). xoxo Coco
Brought to you by the Queen of England, there will be a SPICE GIRLS REUNION! My friends always made me be Sporty Spice and I just wanted to be Posh - GO!
I’m going to show you a video of your future and it is going to blow your mind - GO!
Here’s an amazing guide to how you can be part of New York Fashion Week, all from the comfort of your own home (via Lauren at Mashable) - GO!
It’s 1984 all over again. Watch French Vogue’s editor-in-chief Emmanuelle Alt lip sync to Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” with back-up dancers Anja Rubik, Karmen Pedaru, Jasmine Tookes and Kendra Spears - GO!
Lots of great press only one day after our newly-formed Model Alliance launch - GO! GO! and GO!
The MADE fashion week app by Milk Studios will change the way we experience fashion week forever. Read more at WWD or download for free from the App Store - GO!
"Mona Lisa’s Twin," a copy painted by Leonardo da Vinci’s student in 1503, unveiled in Madrid… and I like the copy better! - GO!
Linda Evangelista is on the latest cover of LOVE and I’m speechless - GO!

Time for another weekly installment of the random things I found on the interweb this week (If you missed last week’s, go HERE). xoxo Coco

  • Brought to you by the Queen of England, there will be a SPICE GIRLS REUNION! My friends always made me be Sporty Spice and I just wanted to be Posh - GO!
  • I’m going to show you a video of your future and it is going to blow your mind - GO!
  • Here’s an amazing guide to how you can be part of New York Fashion Week, all from the comfort of your own home (via Lauren at Mashable) - GO!
  • It’s 1984 all over again. Watch French Vogue’s editor-in-chief Emmanuelle Alt lip sync to Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” with back-up dancers Anja Rubik, Karmen Pedaru, Jasmine Tookes and Kendra Spears - GO!
  • The MADE fashion week app by Milk Studios will change the way we experience fashion week forever. Read more at WWD or download for free from the App Store - GO!
  • "Mona Lisa’s Twin," a copy painted by Leonardo da Vinci’s student in 1503, unveiled in Madrid… and I like the copy better! - GO!
  • Linda Evangelista is on the latest cover of LOVE and I’m speechless - GO!