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People En Español’s Fashion Director Kika Rocha

May 5th, 2011

On Passion, Personal Style and Her Secret To Success.

With a masters degree from New York University and five years of law school, Kika Rocha People en Español fashion director knows a thing or two about passion and following your dreams. Fluent in four languages, Kika effortlessly encourages women to look their best, discover new secrets and inform over one million readers on what’s the next “it” trend. An alluring and elegant woman, Kika shares her secrets on personal style, her first job and what it takes to become People en Español’s fashion director.

Can you tell us what you do for People Espanol?

KR: As Beauty and Fashion Director for People en Español I have the privilege of creating, producing and editing all the fashion and beauty pages of the magazine. I also have the task of promoting the new issue once it’s out on different TV shows such as Univision or CNN en Espanol.I have a “dream job” many girls would die for, but it really involves a lot of activity, insight and patience.I must be very well informed of every trend in the industry, of any major product launches and of all new things regarding the entertainment industry in order to what products and designer dresses celebrities are using and wearing so our readers can learn about them.
KR: I joined People En Español magazine nine years ago after completing a Masters degree in publishing at New York University. Before joining People En Español I held a managing editor position at Elle Colombia, I was managing editor in Revista Buen Vivir, editorial director in Semana Collecion today is known as Fucsia where I started as a reporter, writer and a stylist.I wore lots of hats back then, but it was the best training I could ever get in a publication, today Fuscia is the most important fashion book in Colombia.

LW: Can you explain how trends are decided for the new season?

KR: Many tend to think trends are born on the catwalk and designers are the ones who originate them, but today we can’t deny the power of celebrities as trendsetters. We have seen brands become world favorites after a few “famosas” have been spotted wearing a bag, or a certain pair of shoes or little black dress. It applies to red carpet events but also to a casual stroll on the street. Part of what we do at People en Español is to follow those fashion and beauty icons that our readers are dying to know more about. We become their friends and confidants, and since all women love to talk about beauty and fashion those secrets are not so hard to obtain! The next step is to include them in the magazine as tips on their looks, their favorite brands and makeup techniques.

LW: Has the state of the economy affected how you report fashion forecast?

KR: On the contrary! It has opened new doors to a chic, trendy and exciting challenge: learning to dress and to look great on a budget is something women have always tried to accomplish but were not so open about it in the past. Today it is well seen and celebrated and it is FUN to write about it. It is OK to admit you have mixed a Gap T-shirt with a Chanel jacket, or that you’re pairing a Forever21 dress with Louboutin heels! It proves you’re fashion savvy and you know how to distinguish what’s cool and fashionable regardless of the price.

Women today are investing in smart quality buys on classic pieces but also turning to mass stores for basics! Haute couture designers were well aware of this fact before the crisis started and knew that in the near future the way to survive was by making fashion affordable and possible for everyone. We have seen successful examples of this in many recent collaborations such as the ones by Stella McCartney and Albert Elbaz from Lanvin for the Swedish chain of H&M stores, Vera Wang for Kohl’s and Jean Paul Gaultier or Zac Posen for Target, just to name a few.

My take on the subject is that the beauty and fashion industries have been able to surpass the economic crisis due to one simple and uplifting fact: “Women are not willing to give up on looking and feeling good”. They might adjust their spending habits to a smaller budget but they will always find a way to conquer the world with their image and charm. Beauty and fashion are empowering tools that make us stronger and more successful. I’m happy to think that women have saved an industry they can’t live without, one lipstick, or one nail polish or one pair of shoes at a time!

LW: What is your personal style?

KR: I’m very classic in many ways but still willing to take a few risks when it comes to getting ready for a red carpet. I try to incorporate to my wardrobe only the trends that work on my body type. Knowing your body and what works for you is the first step to looking good!

My two best fashion allies are a full length mirror to take one good and final look at myself before leaving home and a camera to take a picture and see how the outfit registers. It is incredible to see how different a dress might look in photos or videos. Avoid surprises and double check before it is too late and you end up in one of those worst dressed lists.

I am also an accessories fan. I can’t live without fabulous shoes and handbags, but my passion and best kept treasures are jewels. A totally worthy investment that you can pass on to your children or loved ones. The cherry on top of a perfect sundae! Nothing more dear, timeless and personal than the treasures that you carry close to your heart.

LW: What current fashion trends are your must haves?

KR: I have always been a fan of color and for this coming summer. I’m loving the bright shades of fuchsia, orange, green and blue that are conquering the streets of the world. Whenever I have a live appearance on TV reporting from a red carpet or commenting on fashion, I chose a bright color as a powerful statement. It really makes you stand out so you have to be very sure of your choice! Latin women grow and live surrounded by an explosion of vivid nature, exotic fruits, plants and flowers, so incorporating color into our wardrobes is a natural choice. Color makes the world a happier place, but then again you have to be VERY careful of the way you wear it or you might end up looking like a sad clown.

Another of my favorite classic combinations is black and white. The possibilities are endless and you can never go wrong! I was delighted to discover that back in the 16th century Diane des Poitiers, noble woman and beloved mistress of king Henry II from France was always dressed in this sophisticated and sober combination, it was her formula to stand out in a court full of pompous ornaments and excess. I have “borrowed” her advice from centuries past as a valid tool that never fails.

KR: Writing and communicating have always been my passion. I am fluent in four languages and actually wish I found the time to learn a few more. I remember I started translating the French poems that my parents read to each other when I was seven, because I yearned be part of the chic world of glamour and fashion. I truly believe languages are doors to enter new worlds. I always knew I wanted to become a journalist although I had to go through five years of Law school to please my parents, but as soon as I graduated I started writing and working towards achieving my dreams.

Finally, I started doing what I love which is talking to people, interviewing experts, artisans, chefs, designers, makeup artists, painters, architects. Behind every product, behind every object that surrounds you there is a story, a labor of love, a creative mind that made it possible. I love to discover and to unveil these secrets to those who are interested in enjoying these simple and yet grand pleasures, in learning about the beautiful things that make our lives cheerful and worth living.

I have always chosen to write about all the positive news that for a moment at least can make us dream of a better world. Beauty and fashion deal with every woman’s dream of becoming their best selves and if what I do contributes even a little to that pursuit, I am completely satisfied.

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