Toronto’s Coco Rocha is one of the top models on the planet. In addition to strutting runways from New York to Milan, she’s also actively involved in improving working conditions for models, and she’s putting a new book together, which comes out this month. We tracked her down to kick off our fashion issue.
What are your favourite fall trends for 2014?
I just finished New York fashion week, so I’m already thinking about spring 2015! Lots of loose layers for spring and more baggy than close fitting. But back to the present: I’m all about a cape this fall! I don’t care if I look like a supervillain, gimme capes.
What impressed you the most during the recent fashion weeks?
I would have to say Zac Posen’s show. I’ve walked his collection my entire career, nearly 10 years now, but this year’s collection was so fresh and different for him. It’s a great privilege for me to be able to inspect up-close the amazing workmanship of master couturiers like Zac.
What one trend do you miss the most and are hoping for a comeback?
I look back nostalgically at the time women spent three hours to get ready before they travelled somewhere. Today there is nothing glamorous about flying, it’s a pain in the neck no matter how you look at it. I wish we still had the days of Concorde and Pan Am, when flying was a huge event and a glamorous affair.
And what trend are you hoping stays buried forever?
Ugg boots. Every year I think they are going away, and every year they rear their ugg-ly heads!
As a Canadian, what designers from here are impressing you the most these days?
Greta Constantine have been impressing me for years now. They are two of the most talented boys in fashion, and I love that they have stuck around in Toronto, creating such a buzz for Canadian fashion. So often Canadian talent has to leave the country to be successful, but they have found a way to stay in Canada and still create amazing pieces season after season.
What do you like to do when you are back in Toronto?
Both my parents live in Toronto, so when I’m back, I’m probably having a BBQ and margarita in my dad’s backyard!
What one fashion item do you value the most and why?
I’ve always been a huge admirer of Elizabeth Taylor. She had such amazing class and style. A few years ago, I went to an auction of her clothing and actually bought a Givenchy jumpsuit she had owned in the ’80s and wore it to the Met Gala. It has a wine stain on the shoulder, but it’s Liz Taylor’s wine stain, which is just amazing to me.
Tell us about your new book
I’m extremely proud of Study of Pose. It’s my first book and was my attempt to show how the simple placement of the human body has inspired art — whether it be painting, sculpture, dance, film or fashion — for the last few thousand years. If it sounds grandiose, it isn’t. Its just 1,000 images of me in simple black-and-white poses with no props or fashion whatsoever.