Coco Rocha launched her new streetwear collection with her usual mix of poise and professionalism, but the model admits she was nervous about the end result from the start.
“I was very nervous from the beginning. Being a model sometimes you just feel like that’s all people think you’re good at, and that’s all you should be good at is model, find a husband, get married, have babies and then go away,” Rocha told PEOPLE at her CO+CO Street Wear Collection Launch at RonRobinson in Santa Monica on Thursday. “And I just don’t like that.”
“I don’t think anyone wants to work that way,” she adds. “You want to have a great career, continue [to do] other things, do other projects. So for me, I was super nervous that it wasn’t going to look right or it wasn’t going to be a real line [and] in the end it was like, ‘What did we make?'”
However, Rocha, 27, admits when she saw it “for the first time completely done” it was exactly what she wanted: “Beautiful and good quality and sophisticated.”
As for what she prioritized in her sports chic line? “I think that price point — $80 to $300 — was a huge thing,” she says. “Unique pieces … just fun little things that you didn’t necessarily wear before, but it doesn’t scare you too much.”
“Of course, there are other pieces that might scare someone, but [they] can find a piece that is a little bit more softer and easier,” she continues. “In the range of sports chic, there’s a variety … [the] Fall [season] is super exciting and we will definitely have [something] for every girl so if you’re a little nervous don’t worry we got you. But I always want the girls to just try because that’s the fun of fashion. It’s dress up. Everyday we’re playing dress up that’s all it is.”
And like any proud mom, it’s hard for Rocha to pick favorites, but she is partial to the scuba skirt with mesh panels that she initially sketched herself on a napkin.
“I was drawing one of the first days this thing and I thought, I’m not going to show the creative team, they’re going to think I’m silly,” she shared. “… But when in fact I did show it, everyone was super excited … so I was proud of it. We made it. People love it. I wear it all the time out.”
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Of course, the clothing line isn’t Rocha’s only big project: She welcomed daughter Ioni James last March. And for her, the biggest adjustment was wondering if her style would (or should) change.
“That’s the one thing when people started saying that, I was like, ‘Should I get mom jeans and cut my hair?’ I didn’t know what they wanted from me,” she said. “I think that’s what, for so long, the stereotype was — that once you became a mom you had to mature, and you had to be sophisticated so you needed to get that hair cut, and you had to get those mom jeans and you had to wear flats.”
“I think during pregnancy I realized I just wanted to look cool like I wanted to really look good. Pre-pregnancy I was like, ‘Oh I can just wear clothes’ … and then now you have a little kid that looks better than you in clothes you almost feel like, ‘I’ve got to step up my game,'” jokes Rocha, who adds “it’s just fun to dress up now being a mom. You’re like, ‘I’m a mom and I can dress up and wear heels,'” she says.
And just because she’s a “mom on-the-go” doesn’t mean her little one “has to stay at home with nanny and never see her.”
“You can bring her to the job. You can hang out with her. Let her see what mommy does. That’s all fun,” she says. And one day when her daughter gets older, Rocha hopes to pass on one particular beauty lesson to her: “Practice.”
“Don’t just have a look and then all of a sudden think you look great in the outfit wherever you go,” explained Rocha. “I think definitely practice, if it’s an eyeliner, an eyebrow, a lipstick, whatever it is.”
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