Coco Rocha is not like other models.
Physically she fits right in, standing at 5’10”, with a slim body, high cheek bones, intense brown eyes, a strong jaw and long dark hair. Her recognizable face has been seen on the covers of Vogue, Vogue Italia, Vogue Korea, W, Flare, and Time, as well as in countless editorials and ad campaigns. She has done her trademark stomp down the runways in Milan, Paris, London, and New York. But despite her ubiquity in the fashion world, Coco is famous for being more than just a pretty face.
An avid Irish dancer from a young age, Coco was discovered by agent Charles Stuart at a dance competition near her hometown of Richmond, BC. Only fourteen years old at the time, she initially turned down his offer. However, Stuart continued to pursue her at subsequent competitions. Finally, at fifteen, Coco gave in to these offers and signed with the Charles Stuart modeling agency in Vancouver, BC.
Coco’s career took off immediately. At the age of seventeen, she signed with Elite Models in New York. Soon after, in February, 2006, she met world-renowned fashion photographer Stephen Meisel, who photographed her for an editorial along with fellow models Gemma Ward and Amanda Moore. Almost immediately after, she found herself walking in New York’s fashion week, for designers such as Marc Jacobs and Anna Sui. However, it was in Paris where Coco really made a name for herself.
During the fittings for Jean Paul Gaultier’s F/W 2007 show, the designer had heard talk of Coco’s dancing. He approached her, asking if she could dance down the runway during his show, which had a Scottish theme. The designer ordered special dancing shoes for her which came in directly from Ireland only two hours before the show.
Coco opened and closed the show, doing her Irish dance down the catwalk, wearing tartan Jean Paul Gaultier. The audience, not expecting such a spectacle, cheered her on enthusiastically. Later that year, she was featured on the cover US Vogue along with nine other models. Vogue cited Coco’s dance as the event that marked the return of the supermodel, and referred to the overwhelming audience response as “the Coco moment.”
Coco, now 19, can currently be seen in Dior’s spring campaign, and recently went back to her roots to take part in Toronto’s Fashion Week.
Photos courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.