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At-Home With...Top Model & Influencer Joanna Cooper

There’s no better way to spend lockdown than with some quality girl-crush infatuation.

Welcome to 'At-Home With'...our new feature series where we (virtually) get up close and personal with some of Ireland's most interesting and creative women. They each give us an honest peek into what their "new normal" looks like–from life lessons they've learned in lockdown to the beauty and health products they've been using to self-soothe. 

One of the country’s most in-demand models, Joanna Cooper has been a fashion world disrupter since the beginning of her career. Originally from Derry, but now based in London for work, Joanna has built an incredible portfolio, securing jobs with high-profile brands such as ASOS and River Island.

However, more than her impressive modelling work and envy-inducing eyebrows Joanna helped shape a new perspective around what it means to be a model today, and it doesn’t involve infamous height restrictions. Joanna champions inclusivity in an industry that isn’t always welcome to change, although it is making progress. 

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Inspired by her charming confidence and resilience we spoke to Joanna in another moment of adversity to see how she has been doing, plus her best career and beauty advice. Take note!

How have you been finding lockdown?

"I’m aware everyone's situation is very different and for some people this has been a really hard and stressful time. Personally, I’ve tried to enjoy it as much as I can. It has forced me to slow down so much and I’ve been trying to use it as a time to live more consciously which has been nice."

What has lockdown taught you?

"I think I’ll take a lot from the past few months and try bringing it into my life going forward. We will all be so grateful for the little things. However, that isn’t to say I haven’t found it really hard at times, I left London as it all started to unfold and came to Limerick, all my family are in Derry so it's been hard being away from them for so long. "

If you could trade wardrobes with anybody else in the world, who would you choose? 

"I think I draw more inspiration from a certain type of style rather than just one person. I love the Scandinavian style - I think Copenhagen Fashion Week is the best in the world for effortless and stunning outfits so I’d trade wardrobes with most of the girls there."

If you weren’t a model, what else could you see yourself doing? 

"Honestly, I have no idea! I think I’d always have veered into the fashion world, so maybe a stylist."

What is the first thing you are going to do when lockdown is lifted and businesses reopen again? 

"Go straight to Derry to see my family! Then hopefully dive back into work."

How do you keep yourself motivated to stay fit and healthy?

"I think it's all about finding exercises that suit you, for example, I hate HIIT workouts and I know that I’ll never feel motivated to do one so I just avoid them. I love Pilates and Yoga so I don't feel like I have to motivate myself to do them. I’m also in a love-hate relationship with running at the minute too, it’s so hard but you really do feel good afterwards."

How do you push past social media negativity to stay happy and confident? 

"I honestly don’t get much negativity online, although I noticed when lockdown started that a lot of people became very sensitive towards influencers and models who continued doing paid collaborations online or promoting brands. Of course, I understand that there are much more important things going on in the world right now than loungewear hauls, or skincare tutorials - however, we’re all trying to manoeuvre our way through it and learn as we go. I think we should be able to continue working and keep some sort of normality in what is such a strange time. In general, though I just don’t take social media too seriously, I use it as a tool that goes hand in hand with my job and I try to not let it go any deeper than that."

What advice would you offer to someone hoping to move to London and work within the fashion world? 

"I love London so much and would tell anyone to go for it if they want to get into fashion. Be persistent and don’t take no for an answer!"

How have you been keeping yourself inspired while staying at home?

"This has definitely been difficult. I miss being able to go into a studio and get creative with a team of people. I have been shooting from home though and it’s fun trying my hand at being a model, stylist, hair and makeup artists and photographer all in one."

What are your top three holy grail beauty products? 

"An eyelash curler, I use the Kevyn Aucoin one and heat it with the hairdryer for a few seconds before curling - works like a dream! A good moisturiser, my favourite ever is Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream. A signature scent, Le Labo Rose 31 is my all-time favourite. I’m also really loving Byredo Gypsy Water for summer."

Looking back, do you wish you would have done anything in your career differently? 

"I really don’t think so. I prefer looking ahead with the mentality that if there’s something I wish I had done, it's never too late to do it now."

Are you a fan of the show Derry Girls?

"I love Derry Girls, it's hilarious and shows people from Derry in the best light. I can’t wait for the next season!"

Main image by @joannacoops on Instagram

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