Q&A with Canadian Supermodel Coco Rocha
Insight Canadian supermodel, Coco Rocha, gives advice to all women about how to take charge of their career.
Mediaplanet: Where do you get your ambition?
CR: Cindy Crawford once told me that lasting success in fashion is one small part opportunity and one large part ambition and drive to do something with that opportunity. When I started modeling at 15 I knew very little about the world I was entering, but I knew not to take it for granted. I was raised as an only child to a single mother who worked tirelessly as a flight attendant to provide for us. When she couldn't find a babysitter, I'd join her on the plane to China and sleep in the cockpit. Later when I wanted to dance, my Mom set up a business selling dance clothing at the competitions to help fund my passion. I like to think I've inherited some of her drive and go-getter attitude.
MP: Why do you think it’s important for women to take charge of their careers?
CR: If you don't take charge someone else will. As they say, if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. Early on in my career I decided to take stock of what I wanted out of life. Did I want fame and success at all costs? Or did I want to remain true to myself, my own moral compass and create a career path I could be proud of? I decided to take the more difficult path and said no to a lot of opportunities that didn't feel right for me. In the end, I think there is a great deal of power in knowing when to say no. True you can lose out on the instant payoff, but in the long run, being authentic and true to who you are is always rewarded.
MP: Tell us about your role as a mentor to up and coming models through NOMAD MGMT.
CR: My partners and I had all worked with and for the biggest agencies in the world for many years and we had seen what worked and what didn't work in modeling and fashion. We wanted to create something in our own image, so we built a boutique modeling agency in 2016 to be be small, nimble and able to adapt to a changing industry. In our first year we opened up a sister agency in Asia, then a creative services lab in Miami, and this year we expanded into Los Angeles. My role as an owner and brand manager is to help steer the Nomad brand in new and interesting directions, and to help mentor our younger models. Being the big sister to our models is a role I really enjoy. Having worked with nearly every brand, photographer, magazine, and designer you can imagine, I'm in a unique position to help guide our models around the pitfalls of the industry, and help them have a career they can enjoy and be proud of. I'm always available to any of our models and I'm very proud of what we're building.
MP: What advice would you give to young women who may lack self-confidence?
CR: The best way to master insecurity is to do the thing you're afraid of. Jump out there and make the choices that you want to make. In this life, you can never please everyone, so you might as well please yourself because that will be your longest relationship.