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Imogen’s secrets are out!

Natanga Smith Hurdle

Imogen’s secrets are out!

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Imogen Alexandra Cooper has a backup plan: if modelling doesn’t work out, she is going to be a businesswoman. Her Plan C is music.
“. . . . Modelling doesn’t last forever and its always important to have a Plan B and C to follow through.”
Currently taking business classes, she already has a foot in the door. She manages and markets the fan page of Victoria’s Secret Supermodel Chanel Iman.
“I am very proud of that. I am the type of person who hates to be idle, so even my hobbies – which include, of course, surfing the Internet – have to be productive. I am obsessed with finding out what is happening in the entertainment world daily.”
When we met, she made the simple look hard to do. With her hair in a messy topknot, she is wearing a denim shirt tied at the waist and short khaki shorts.
She has a fresh, welcoming face and greets me warmly. She loves MAC makeup and can’t function unless she’s wearing eyeliner and mascara.
“Luckily I am blessed to have great skin. I just use a facial soap twice a day,” she said, explaining that fresh look.
“I wash my hair up to twice a week and moisturize daily.”
Born in London, she moved to New York at age four. Five years later she and her parents relocated to Barbados. A former Queens College student, the eighteen-year-old has been modelling for the past seven years.
“I have my mother to blame”, she said, laughing.
“She put me in my first fashion show when I was thirteen and it just went from there. I fell in love with it and just chose to continue. As a model, you get to transform into different characters for photo shoots. You get to present beautiful clothes and make them come alive on the runway.
“You get to travel and see the world from a different perspective and meet so many amazing people. Being able to experience all this is a dream for me.”
She added that she has grown with the industry.
“There are so many new designers and faces on the scene – it just gets better and better every year”, she said, adding that with international designers (like Christian Siriano, Project Runway winner) showcasing their work here, “Barbados has been put on the map.”
Taking part in New York Fashion Week at age 15 (“It was crazy being in such a big event at a young age”) she says has led to international runways in The Bahamas (Islands Of The World Fashion Week) and London, and local shows at home such as BB Fashion Week.
Imogen, who says she get “cringey” when she sees herself in magazines or videos, stressed that networking is very important when it comes to modelling. She makes the effort to “always stay in contact with those I work with”. With Barbados so small and word getting around, she says she usually gets the call and “I’m there!”
“Also, if there’s a shoot, I love helping out behind the scenes, whether it be make-up, styling, or making sure everything is running smoothly on set.”
I pried out of the five-foot-nine-inch “crazy” animal lover (“at home I have nine cats and a dog. Four other dogs died. That was so emotional for me”) that she loves taking walks on the beach with the dog (“we both love swimming, it really helps take my mind off things”) she loves and Waka Flocka’s music (“whenever I want to chill out, I can play him or any rap from the south and I’m all good”), and that she has too many pairs of shoes to even count!
Touching on the size debate in the fashion world where reports of models eating tissue paper and living on one grape a day are still talking points, Imogen says, “high fashion modelling, yes, they do make their runway pieces to a particular size . . .”.
“What people don’t realize is that there are so many other brackets in modelling, such as fitness, urban, music video sides and so on that include various sizes.”
But Imogen doesn’t have to worry about the size issue. She also doesn’t watch what she eats, and she doesn’t do the gym.
“I am a huge fast food lover, but somehow always remain skinny,” she said.
Imogen gets as creative as she can with her own style and likes to bring the catwalk to the streets. She recollects practising for 20 minutes backstage at a show how to walk in a dress that looked like a lampshade.
“One of the worst things in being a model is having to get to shows and shoots really early. If I had to pick photo shoot or fashion show, I would say the latter because it’s fun to have more people around you. It gets the adrenaline pumping.”
Will she be bringing out a fashion line during her career?
“Good question. I’ve had that thought run through my mind before. I think the name Imogen Cooper sounds good on a brand,” she said, laughing.
Imogen said that so far, 2012 had been a game-changing year and she was on an unstoppable mission.  
“I don’t like to talk about it but rather be about it. I am a young lady of substance and drive. I dare you to doubt me. This is just the beginning and everyone can have the front seat to it all.”