Back in 2006 Coco Rocha snapped, crackled and popped on the cover of i-D’s Youth Issue. A mile away from just a pretty face, with Ma and Pa both hailing from the Emerald Isle, as a young’un Coco moonlit as a competition-winning Irish dancer, and was in fact scouted mid scissor-kick. To mark St Patrick’s Day, we glance back at Coco’s cracking cover story…
With her English bowler hat and suit jacket, Coco nut Coco Rocha combines the very best of boy meets girl with more than a dash of Coco the clown style know how – whether fixing her Coco cola bike, going Coco down in Acapulco, or prepping for the Coco bean prom, she is a living United Nation. Thank you COCO.
She’s the runt of the litter, the kid that no one noticed at school but actually has her own story to tell. Coco does it with her face alone. She’s modern because of what she’s not – a pin up, a no brainer, a girl next door, a blank canvas. Look a little harder, classmates, and you can’t stop looking. Fashion is staring at Coco right now. She’s the go-to girl to add a little oddity into the mix. Half menacing, half innocent and like a mix of Linda and Karen E, she’s a chameleon too. Moving from Jessica Rabbit buckteeth to Liza Minnelli flapper isn’t easy, y’know.
Is pizza your favourite food? I’m good now. I’ve cut out all the food I like – the yum yum food. My absolute weakness is chocolate – I love Hershey’s Cookies & Cream bars. My mum is on this real health kick right now. She phones me with new rules about mixing carbs, proteins, whatever. We’re on a full on watch-what-you-eat kick.
Your dancing must also keep you super trim? Yeah, I use it to work out because it’s super hyperactive. At the moment, it’s second place to modelling but when I really practised, I was in the Preliminary Champions category. There are six levels and I’m in the one second from the top.
That’s impressive. How did you get into it? I’ve been dancing for about ten years. I started with ballet but that was too slow, moved to jazz and that was too slow. Then there was an Irish dancing convention at my school, after the whole Michael Flatley boom, and I thought ‘why not?’ My parents are both Irish too. It’s in the blood.
What about modelling? My agent’s daughter is an Irish dancer and he approached me at a contest. At first I just thought he was a creep but after about a year, I realised he was legit and might be onto something.
What’s it like being the new hyped face of fashion? Pretty weird. I’ve always been the don’t-look-at-me kid. I was never ‘Miss Popularity’. I think it’s all down to Steven Meisel. If he says he likes you, everyone else does too.
Click here for more on The Youth Issue. See Coco working the high leg and deadpan Irish dancing face here, and bringing the dance to the catwalk at Jean Paul Gaultier in 2007 here.