Every New Face needs a model to look up to – it helps gives us inspiration to set out the sort of career path we want to follow, and motivation to keep us wanting to achieve that. When I started modelling, it was Erin O’Connor for me. I always loved the way she elegantly folded herself into pictures and came across in interviews; her grace, poise and unusual face. As for her stratospheric and long-lasting career, though my face wasn’t to be suited to her high-end editorial jobs, I could still be inspired by her success.

erinErin creates amazing shapes with her body and is super-aware of how to work her face.

Well I still love Erin but now I’ve also added COCO ROCHA into the mix! I’ve enjoyed watching her incredible (and hard-earnt) rise to fame and success and the composed, thoughtful manner in which she conducts herself off-duty. Whenever I’m on a shoot and have to pull something wacky out of the bag, I’ll mentally picture Coco and think of what she’d do.

I’d love my readers to share in my enthusiasm, so here’s ten very good reasons I’m COCO LOCO!

10) She’s FEROCIOUS in pictures!

Not in a ‘throwing her Blackberry at assistants’ way, but in a ‘not afraid to jump, roar, pounce and growl for pictures’ way!


In the 00’s there were a few years of very beautiful models generally looking very beautiful with their hands on their hips in pictures – SNORE! – and then Coco came along and blew it ALL OUT OF THE WATER by reminding us that we shouldn’t be afraid to be vital, energetic, strange and even grotesque in pictures. It reminds us that don’t just have to sell handbags – we can create ART.

9) She gives every shoot all of her energy

I very much get the feeling that Coco cares about each job – that she’s professional, that she treats every person on that shoot well, the pictures are a success and, overall, that they get ‘the Coco experience’. Part of that is her treating the shoot much as one would treat an intense aerobics class – but for 17 hour days.

Check out this video in which she nails a dance routine ON A TABLE and IN STILETTOS! She will have had to do that dance routine endlessly in every outfit, maintaining her energy for each one, and does it with panache and a big smile. That really is no small task!

8) She’s not afraid to speak up for herself

Coco doesn’t do: nudity, sheer, lingerie. So far, so uncommon – but not totally out-there. But add onto that the fact that she won’t shoot with any religious or government artefacts, anything overtly sexual (especially with a male model) and she even checks what other female models will be doing in a shoot – as well as having a whole host of other clauses – and we have a very unique model here who isn’t afraid to say no. That can really harm a career but, if anything, it adds to her appeal.

A strict Jehovah’s Witness, she won’t do anything she’s uncomfortable with and, as a model who has often caved due to the pressure that can be plied on at shoots, I mega, mega respect that.

7) She’s also not afraid to speak up for other models

Coco’s spoken out about her own struggles and uses her fame as a platform to speak out on behalf of other models, who she recognises as vulnerable and bereft of many legal rights.

6) Jean Paul Gaultier has turned her into, among many other things…

A Mermaid on crutches:


And an Irish Dancing beauty (she was discovered at a dance competition!):

…..Enough said.

5) She’s not afraid to take chances with her own personal style

…Even if Naomi has a go at her for it. I loved the purple lipstick she wore as a mentor on The Face…

cocopurpleIt’s fun to try new looks, even if it incites the terrifying wrath of Naomi…

…and I love her fashion forward outfits. They’re never the predictable bandage dresses beloved by glam women – as a model, it’s important to reflect the influences of the people you work for.

4) She called out Elle Brazil when they retouched out the flesh coloured body suit she was wearing underneath this dress and made her look naked, going against one of her many clauses.

CocoboobsCoco wasn’t impressed when Elle Brazil ignored their contractual obligations.

I’d be far too terrified to take on a huge client and put my career in jeopardy, but when models do stand up for themselves it helps set a standard for the rest of the industry.

3) This blog post she wrote:


in which she essentially told all the people calling her fat to stick it, and calling out for major legal changes to be changed to the terribly unregulated fashion industry. She’s backed by Vogue and the article was picked up on worldwide, and was a major factor in the increase of awareness and action being taken to protect models.

2) She was chosen to be the model for ‘A Study of Pose’ in which she manages to pull out 1000 completely unique and original poses. Just look at the grace of each pose – every millimetre of her body is faultlessly poised.

study of pose

Plus can we just think about that for a second…1000 POSES!! That is a truly incredible feat.

1) SHE DID AN INTERVIEW FOR MODELTYPEFACE!!! I think it’s pretty obvious by now that I am nursing a bit of a career/girl crush on Coco! But seriously, for a model of her calibre to get involved with my blog shows how much she cares about helping and empowering us models…And that she’s exactly what I suspected she is: a thoroughly good sort!

So, coming tomorrow on Modeltypeface:


Plus a readers giveaway: the chance to win some amazing goodies inspired by Coco!

Check out the book here

Check out Coco’s blog here


One Comment

  1. […] she works with and the message she puts out (something in common here with Jehovah’s Witness Coco Rocha). After studying art direction at Condé Nast, she’s also very conscious of the male gaze and […]

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