Rocha is a fashion crusader
One afternoon, traffic stopped in Manhattan so that a small parade of models could cross the street. They entered the coffee shop. The girls, most of them around 16 years old, wore shorts and tank tops and too much eye makeup. "These are babies, but to me, this is the perfect group,” said Coco Rocha, the 23-year-old model, who was there to give a lesson on modeling and social media.
"What we’re going to talk about in class today is how important it is to brand yourself," says Rocha, who used to teach dance to four-year-olds. "You cannot be just another pretty face," she added. "Do you know how many girls there are in New York right now?"
More than just a pretty face, Rocha is one of the few models who has become known by just her first name. At a moment when the fashion industry has increasingly marginalised models - to anonymous, size 0 waifs, a life span of three seasons (that’s a year-and-a-half in human years), and off the magazine covers in place of celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga - she has emerged as the model’s liberator.
Her message is about reclaiming power in a profession that has been depleted of it. Her medium is the Web, where Rocha has acquired millions of followers across 13 social media platforms (400,000 on Twitter; 197,000 on Instagram; and 1.6 million on Google Plus) . She’ll soon begin filming of The Face appearing alongside Naomi Campbell and Karolina Kurkova as a celebrity coach.
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