by MIKE CHAIKEN
Supermodel Coco Rocha wishes she knew then what she knows now.
Rocha wishes someone more experienced told her what she needed to know when she took her first steps into the world of fashion modeling.
But when she started working in the industry, Rocha said that just didn’t happen. The veteran models looked at the newer models as competition, someone younger who would replace them on future jobs.
Rocha, one of the guests at Fashinnovation, a two-day collection of webinars held June 5 and 8, spoke with Alex Dickerson, chief marketing officer of the Daily, about her model camp and her model-centric venture, Nomad Management.
Rocha, who has graced the covers of the most prestigious fashion magazines around the globe and walked runway shows for the biggest of fashion designers said her model camp (CocoRochaModelCamp.com) is a place designed for models from around the world to educate themselves. The camp touches upon the rights of models, contracts, branding, social media, diversity in the industry and the danger of sexual predators. “Everything I wish I knew as a model when I started.”
When Rocha arrived in the modeling world no one was willing to take her under their wing. She was viewed as their replacement.
However, Rocha said, she is no longer worried about being replaced in the industry because that shift is underway.
So, Rocha decided, “Why not be the big sister to mentor the next generation (of fashion models)?”
The venture initially was designed to be held in-person over the course of four days, six straight hours a day, and was open to female models only, said Rocha. But COVID-19 has shifted the model camp to a livestream and is now open to male models as well. Even online, she said, the camp is interactive for the participants.
Recognizing predatory behavior within the fashion industry is a particularly hot topic at the camp, said Rocha.
“Most girls start at a young age… They feel they need to say yes to have a career,” said Rocha. But she teaches the young models “you don’t have to give up your belief system…. When you see something wrong you have a voice, use it so it can be fixed.”
Predatory behavior also was one of the reasons behind Rocha’s decision to launch Nomad Management to represent models.
“For a long time in the industry I used my voice on model rights and predatory issues in the industry,” said Rocha.
Launching Nomad was her way to lead by example, said Rocha.
“I wanted to make sure models had someone behind them who had been through (what they will go through) and would listen,” said Rocha.
“Each model can benefit from good management,” said Rocha, explaining the philosophy of Nomad, which also serves as her management firm.
Many managers work to make money rather than what is good for the model, explained Rocha.
“When someone promises the world, that’s not a good thing,” said Rocha of other model managers.
Instead, Rocha explained, “If they say they will work hard for you, that’s a good thing.”
The next online dates for the Coco Rocha Model Camp begin July 2 and July 16. Register at CocoRochaModelCamp.com.