Coco Rocha on ‘Plus-Size’ Models: “It’s About Time We’re Mixing it Up” by InStyle UK

Speaking to Page Six backstage at the Herve Leger show at New York Fashion Week, the 25-year-old model said: “I don’t like that fact that we’re saying they’re ‘plus-size.’ I think models are models.”

This is an interesting Fashion Week article from InStyle featuring my opinion of model size diversity, and also revealing a recent change that has been made at a top agency. Check it out here! xx

Coco Rocha on ‘Plus-Size’ Models: “It’s About Time We’re Mixing it Up” by InStyle UK

Speaking to Page Six backstage at the Herve Leger show at New York Fashion Week, the 25-year-old model said: “I don’t like that fact that we’re saying they’re ‘plus-size.’ I think models are models.”

This is an interesting Fashion Week article from InStyle featuring my opinion of model size diversity, and also revealing a recent change that has been made at a top agency. Check it out here! xx

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.

How Supermodels Took Over the World (Again)by Mike Albo For GLAMOUR MAGAZINE

They tweet. They post selfies. They have more fans than many of Hollywood’s biggest celebs. So how exactly did Karlie, Coco, Cara, and company do it? Like this.
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This past May the entire fashion galaxy convened at the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute gala in New York City. All the usual A-listers were there, of course: Gwyneth, Madonna, Beyoncé, and more. But many of the world’s top models were there too, drawing as much red-carpet attention as the Hollywood crowd—and sharing the whole scene with the world.
Canadian model Coco Rocha, the 24-year-old coach of the modeling competition show The Face, quickly took a selfie in the graffiti-bedecked bathroom and posted it for her million-plus followers. Fashion favorite and new Victoria’s Secret Angel Karlie Kloss, 21, posted a shot of a friend’s tattooed knuckles that read PUNK THIS, and her 259,000 Instagram fans fist-bumped back. Twenty-two-year-old runway pro Chanel Iman photographed a moment with Taylor Swift. And, not to be outdone, no-holds-barred British It Girl and model Cara Delevingne, 21, snapped herself kissing actress Sienna Miller, wearing a matching spiked dress. By the next morning that lip lock had amassed 60,000 likes on Instagram. “Cara is a stud,” proclaimed @jabber1174.
Check your iPhone, laptop, or television. After several years of silence, supermodels are, well, super again. Runway staples like Delevingne, Kloss, and Rocha are now legitimate media stars, many with TV shows and allwith ardent followers who, say, watch the live-streamed Burberry or Calvin Klein show and then congratulate the girls on Twitter. And guess what: This new crop of supermodels is talking back—and that’s making them more real, more relatable, more likeable.
“This generation knows how to start the conversation and build a career,” says Ivan Bart, senior vice president and managing director of IMG Models, who manages the careers of the entrepreneurially minded runway stars Kloss and Gisele Bündchen. “I think this is the greatest time in the history of modeling.”
First, a little history…
Back in the eighties and nineties, the original supermodels— Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington—created a global sensation. They dated rock stars and dominated the magazine newsstand. “You saw a model even in silhouette on the runway and knew exactly who she was,” recalls Tyra Banks, the mega mogul, talk-show host, and creator of America’s Next Top Model, who came on the scene in the nineties. Women everywhere loved them (and maybe hated them a little too).
Yet models of the era say it was easy to be seen in those days— but not easy to be heard. “Your job back then was to show up and put clothes on and show those clothes as best you could,” says Crawford. The irony was that, although she and her crew exuded power and beauty, they recall being discouraged from breaking any actual new ground. Crawford, a five-time Glamour cover girl, says her agents told her that hosting MTV’s House of Style would be a waste of time. That was 1989. “There was no fashion on TV back then,” she says.
Crawford did host that show, but it took decades for her entrepreneurial spirit to catch on. For years—save for Banks, Bündchen, and Kate Moss—models were almost anonymous, with a fresh crop every year. “Girls weren’t popping,” says Banks. “They were famous in Paris only. I think it’s important for someone in the middle of America to know your name and face, and it wasn’t happening.”
Newsflash: Models are people.
Now they’re unique and known. “Karlie is this six-foot-one- and-a-half giant gorgeous alien,” Banks says, assessing the new stars. “Cara is the naughty girl next door. Coco is beautiful but approachable. They are all distinct and themselves. Models used to be silent movie actresses, but not anymore.”
Banks herself deserves a lot of the credit for this trend. Dubbed the “model mogul” by the Wall Street Journal, she transformed herself into a brand, complete with television shows and a book deal. Following Banks’ lead, the average model these days takes her off-the-runway career seriously: Floridian bombshell Kate Upton built her own fan base on YouTube before getting the cover of Sports Illustrated. Kloss and model Joan Smalls are cohosting the new House of Style reboot. Rocha’s got The Face with Campbell and Karolina Kurkova. (For any of you model-IQ doubters, Rocha is also a contributing editor for PC Magazine.) And our cover girl, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, has recently gone the model- turned-actress route. “You no longer have to be defined by one thing,” she says.
Wait: we like them now?
Truth is, models used to be easy for women to resent. They were seen as gorgeous, pouty giraffes who, as Evangelista once famously said, didn’t “wake up for less than $10,000 a day.” Actresses, on the other hand, were shorter and maybe even freckled. Relatable. That’s changed: These days many Hollywood stars guard their privacy carefully, while models come off as less cautious, more real. You can smile along with Joan Smalls as she posts yet another cute photo of her childhood outfits for #throwbackthursday; you’re right there when a bird poops on Delevingne’s bushy brows (true story!) or when Kloss photobombs Steve Carell at the MTV Movie Awards.
“Nowadays, personality counts just as much as looks,” says Lorenzo Martone, a New York City–based manager and publicist. Author and fashion blogger Derek Blasberg agrees: The new supes have to be relatable. It might even be a part of their job. “Yes, people still want gorgeous models with a traffic-stopping walk,” he says. “But a girl today needs to have a big laugh, a big heart, and a good story.”
They’ve found their voice.
Rocha figured out her story five years ago. “It was during the backlash of the supermodel,” she remembers. “You didn’t know our names, and we all kind of looked alike.” So she started a blog. “I thought I was just going to mention mundane things to colleagues and friends. Then I noticed I was getting traffic. I realized I had to have personality. I didn’t want to just be known for my cheekbones. I have a voice.” (In one much-read post, she criticized the industry for its body- image issues: “I’m six inches taller and 10 sizes smaller than the average American woman. Yet in another parallel universe, I am considered ‘fat.’ ”)
Rocha’s blog graduated to a Twitter handle. Then she added a Tumblr page. Now she’s got a Vine identity and a global brand boasting more than 4 million followers on Chinese social-networking sites. “Social media helped my career,” Rocha says. “People would say, ‘We want that girl. She’s got sparkle.’”
Then there’s rising star Delevingne, who drives the tabloids wild by hanging with Rihanna or spilling out of a car with Harry Styles. The most candid of the group, she labels herself on Twitter a “pro- fessional human being” and will post photos between shoots or talk directly to her best friend, pop star Rita Ora, whom she calls “wifey.” In a recent interview Delevingne explained that her followers make her feel “less alone.” Modeling, she says, can be “a really lonely job.”
Ultimately, what many models want today is the right to control their own future: Kloss is launching a new line of jeans for tall women; her charity project Karlie’s Kookies gives money to FEED, to fight hunger. Others are using their clout to shake up their industry for the better. (Watch model Cameron Russell’s TED Talk.
The “genetic lottery” winner had this advice for young women: Don’t try to model; instead, “be the next president.”) But sometimes these women are just looking out for their fans. “You guys are hysterical!” Delevingne responded recently to kids who tweeted her from school. “Get back to work. I will not be blamed for doing badly in exams!”
What’s next? Pretty much anything, says Banks. “It’s their time,” she shrugs. “The choice to do more is in these girls’ hands.” No doubt their decision will be posted.

How Supermodels Took Over the World (Again)
by Mike Albo For GLAMOUR MAGAZINE

They tweet. They post selfies. They have more fans than many of Hollywood’s biggest celebs. So how exactly did Karlie, Coco, Cara, and company do it? Like this.

Read More

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. 



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