Model – Christina Cooper
Agency – The One Models Milan
Photographers – Héctor Plaza García, Alex Giacomelli, Simona Giardullo, & Alex Kipenko.
Assistant photographer – Domenico Caliandro
Stylist – Christina Proud
Make up – Gaia Veronese
7H: Hi Christina. We haven’t spoke in awhile. Last we sat down was back in October of 2015 for our Goth Glam Issue. It is always a warm feeling to see you doing what you love. We have always been there to support you in your modeling ventures. Proud to say we have been there with you from the start of your career. How’s things going for you in Italy. Tell us about your experience so far.
CC: My experience here in Milan, Italy has definitely been a roller coaster ride. Before I landed here in Milan, I was first in Berlin, Germany walking Mercedes Benz fashion week Berlin. With the help of my amazing mother agency ICAN model management, I was able to book a few big shows, including Green-showroom (one of the bigger shows in Germany). After fashion week in Berlin, I flew to Milan and met with my wonderful new family at The One Models Milan. I took my Polaroids, video and settled into my new model apartment. Things were tough when I first landed in Milan because I got my wallet stolen first thing off the shuttle bus.
I had 400 euros & my cards inside that wallet, so losing that in a foreign country when you’re all alone, was extremely difficult and challenging. Luckily I have my amazing father, supportive family, close friends, and a wonderful mother agency including Oliver Kuprian, Cristina Saracut, and Alexandros Roussos to make sure I am in good hands & for believing in my model potential. I am very grateful for all the amazing people I have in my life. From my amazing agencies, to my father Ashton Cooper, to Daron Anderson, Tonya Love, and my best friend Brittani Lloyd. I would be no where without their love and genuine support.
When I first landed in Milan at my very first ever model apartment, it was honestly not as bad as I thought. Sure, it’s not as glamorous as most people imagine. But it’s enough to survive I suppose. There were times when the power would go off, one stove wouldn’t work, and the fridge would cut off. But apparently these things happen and in Europe these apartments can be really old fashioned. We had a washing machine, but no wash dryer. So we had to hang out clothes and let it air dry for 2-3 days. Not only are the living situations crazy at times, but sometimes there are a lot of other models living with you as well. You can be staying in a model apartment with up to 8 other girls! Luckily I only stayed with 2 other girls. But even living with just a few girls can be difficult when these models come from all around the world and sometimes don’t accept a colored model like myself as easily as they would accept a White European model.
After flying to Milan from Germany, I was off to London for 2 days to shoot with The K Label clothing brand. When I got back to Milan, it was time to get to work! Money was still an issue, being that my wallet was stolen and I was broke as a joke. I had to hop over metro rails just to catch a train and make it to my castings and photo-shoots. I ate rice and bread with cheese for a week. It was extremely tough in the beginning. Luckily after a week, my father sent me some funds in order to buy myself food and other small necessities. Sure the agency was giving me pocket money a week occasionally. But 50 euros can be a bit difficult to survive on in expensive Milan, Italy. So after getting some money, I bought some groceries for the apartment and my beloved metro pass that I used on the train and buses. Too bad we couldn’t use those on Ubers.
My first week in Milan I booked a few photo-shoots for magazine editorials, including my first campaign in Milan for designer brand Cristian & Co. The very first brand I met with was Miu Miu and Prada. They had me fit for their showroom collection. I wore a beautiful yellow dress laced with colored diamonds. It was a really beautiful collection. I also fitted for the amazing Roberto Cavalli and JustCavalli brand. Their office is so amazing and the people are so friendly! Besides working with brands like Rochas Paris, Proenza Schouler, and Mulberry, I was able to grace GQ Italia online and Vogue Italia! It is really an honor that this was possible being that I’ve only been in Milan a few weeks! I was blessed enough to model for Winonah and Martín Alvarez in Milan fashion week.
I also stopped by the Fendi fashion show at the Fendi showroom in Milano during fashion week. At the show, I was interviewed by television cast Fashion News Live about my modeling career and what’s to come. I also met some amazing people backstage at the show! Bumping into models like Imaan Hammam and Selena Forrest made for nothing but a good time. And lastly, running into Edward Enninful at the Fendi show was an amazing experience. He is the creative director of W magazine and has casts some of the top black models in the game for huge shows. He is definitely an inspiration in the African American aspect of the fashion industry. After meeting so many great people, I can tell you there are definitely big things to come by the end of 2017.
Doing amazing photoshoots with amazing photographers in such a beautiful city was really inspiring for me. Meeting some of the fashion industry’s biggest names and brands was also a crazy experience and I am forever grateful. Now these big brands know my face and with a growing portfolio, the possibilities are endless for next season. There are so many great opportunities revealing themselves. I am now going to be the brand ambassador for Jason Harvey’s gorgeous designer shoe brand “Yevrah“. I am so honored to be alongside Dolce & Gabbana model Amanda Harvey and talented designer Jason Harvey. I am now heading back to LA to start filming for Lipstick, the series! I am super excited to be playing the character Chloe on the show. You also don’t want to miss the premiere of “Dear White People” on Netflix and BET networks. I will be playing “Miko” on the Dear White People show series. Again, I thank everyone who’s ever supported me on this journey, including 7HUES magazine, and I am very excited to keep growing and seeing what’s in store for the future! See you guys next season!