Coco Rocha (born Mikhaila Rocha; September 10, 1988) is a Canadian model. She is known as one of the first “digital” supermodels, and is known for her advocacy for younger models. As an author, she collaborated on the 2014 book Study of Pose. Rocha is also the founder of the Coco Rocha Model Camp and co-owner of the Nomad Mgmt Modeling Agency.
In 2002, agent Charles Stuart approached Rocha at an Irish dance competition and asked her if she would consider modeling for him. At that point, she had never thought of modeling before. When she did begin to model, her knowledge of fashion was limited. Initially Rocha spent time modeling in Asia, where she would shoot up to 75 looks a day for 2 months. She returned to New York and signed an exclusive contract with photographer Steven Meisel, who created a list of clients she could and could not work with. Of the time, Rocha as stated that, “the industry started to hear about this list, so when I finally got to Paris, big designers were trying to get their name on the list. It was, now looking back, one of the craziest times in my career.” She became known as one of the first models to harness social media, and earned the nickname the “Queen of Pose”. Meisel shot an editorial of Rocha with Gemma Ward and Amanda Moore, which appeared on the cover of the April 2006 issue of Vogue Italia.
The following March, she walked the Fall/Winter 2006 ready-to-wear show at New York Fashion Week, most notably for Anna Sui and Marc Jacobs. Backstage at the Anna Sui show, Rocha met model Naomi Campbell, who held her hands and told her she was “her new favourite model”. During Paris Fashion Week she walked for esteemed designers like Stella McCartney, Shiatzy Chen, Christian Lacroix, Emanuel Ungaro, and Marc Jacobs.
A year later, in February 2007, Rocha opened Jean Paul Gaultier’s Scottish Highlands-inspired Fall/Winter 2007 show by Irish-dancing down the runway; American Vogue dubbed this the “Coco Moment” and suggested it as a sign that the fashion industry misses the “supermodels”. Rocha was featured on the May 2007 issue of US Vogue with models Doutzen Kroes, Caroline Trentini, Raquel Zimmermann, Sasha Pivovarova, Agyness Deyn, Jessica Stam, Hilary Rhoda, Chanel Iman, and Lily Donaldson as the “World’s Next Top Models.” In 2008 casting agent James Scully said of Rocha:
“ I will be the first to admit I did not believe the hype, but within five seconds of meeting her, I was totally charmed and understood why everyone loves her. Some people feel her look is specific, but I find her to be the most chameleon-like of all the girls.”
Rocha has been on the cover of many top fashion magazines including American, Brazilian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Mexican and Spanish Vogue, Russian, Australian, Singaporean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Serbian, Thai, Brazilian and Mexican Harper’s Bazaar, Flare, Fashion, Numéro, L’Officiel, W, Dazed & Confused, i-D and Time Style & Design, among others.
Since her debut, Rocha has been the face of a variety of advertising campaigns including Versace, Americana Manhasset, Balenciaga, Chanel, D&G, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Lanvin, The Gap, Ports 1961, Tommy Hilfiger, Yves Saint Laurent, Esprit, Liz Claiborne, Calvin Klein, Nicole Farhi, DeBeers, Zac Posen, Rimmel, and Tatras Japan. She has appeared in editorials for American, Italian, Korean, French, Russian, Spanish, Brazilian, Japanese, Mexican, and British Vogue, British, Canadian, Czech, French, Quebec, and Italian Elle V, W, French, Korean, and Japanese Numéro, British and Japanese Dazed & Confused, i-D, Time Style & Design, and Ukrainian, Russian, Korean, and American Harpers Bazaar.
In July 2010, Rocha appeared on the Vogue website daily for an entire month in a feature named “Today I’m Wearing”. The following month, Rocha appeared on a billboard in Times Square for an ad campaign with Marie Claire magazine in partnership with Project Runway in which she modeled a contestant’s winning design.
In spring of 2011, it was announced that Rocha would again be the face of a limited edition Karl Lagerfeld designed Coco Cola light campaign. She previously collaborated with Lagerfeld and Coca-Cola in 2010. In July 2011, Coco Rocha became the first high fashion model to be photographed by the Lytro Camera, the camera takes what the company calls a “living picture,” meaning that it captures enough visual information in a single exposure so that the focus and zoom can be adjusted even after the picture is taken. Rocha said she reached out to the company after reading about them on the website Mashable.
In August 2011, it was announced that Rocha would be the face of an upcoming Karl Lagerfeld for Macy’s collection. In mid-February 2012, Coco appeared in a commercial for White House Black Market created by New York advertising agency ceft and company new york in which she was featured tap-dancing.
In September 2014, Rocha walked for designers including Zac Posen at Spring New York Fashion Week, her tenth year working with the designer. In November, Rocha again appeared on the cover of Flare, and became the magazine’s first guest editor.