Cindy Crawford is basically the definition of the word "supermodel." She rose to fame with the rest of the original greats—Naomi, Linda, Claudia, Stephanie, Christy (#squadgoals)—and paved the way for a new generation of models. Now, with a retrospective of her career in the form of a sumptuous coffee-table book, the ubiquitous Reformation sweatshirts emblazoned with her name, her highly successful Meaningful Beauty line, and her daughter, Kaia Gerber, who's continuing her legacy, 49-year-old Crawford seems to be everywhere. I sat down with her at a book signing in New York City and talked about all the above and more. P.S. In person these days, she's just as gorgeous as she was in the iconic throwback photo above, shot by Patrick Demarchelier for Allure in 1990. Oh, and she was really nice, too. Fangirl status: achieved.
This past fashion week, your name was mentioned backstage quite a bit. You inspired the hair and makeup looks at Thakoon, Rosie Assoulin, and Opening Ceremony. How does that feel? "Through the process of doing my book, I realized I never really saw my career in that way. But when you look back on it and see you were there for some iconic images or moments, it's fun. And even seeing Karlie Kloss wear the Reformation sweatshirt. It's cool."
How is the book different from past interviews you've done? "Some of the stories aren't new. Overall, the thing with the book is that they're not just stories. They're stories with a lesson or moral attached. I didn't want to tell every interesting story that's ever happened in my life because that's like an autobiography. What's the takeaway? Who I was thinking about, while I was writing it, were my own kids. Everyone knows the pictures, but they've never been compiled like this before. Maybe that's why people will buy the book, but I hope they're also drawn to reading the essays. The essays are kind of why it all matters. I had a great career, but what is that journey and how did I grow as a person? That's what I wanted to show."
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Not that it was ever out, but the idea of the "supermodel" is totally back. What's your take on the new crop of girls? "There definitely is the new group of women—the Gigis and Karlies and Caras. They're a group, they all have their own personalities, but they all seem friendly and hang out together. For a while, a lot of the models looked the same. Now they're all over the map again, which I think is interesting for people, and we feel like we know them and their personalities."
Do you attribute their success and fame to social media? "Social media is definitely a great tool for all of them to promote their own brands and to get their own individual personalities across. That could just be what's in the stars right now."
Speaking of stars, your daughter, Kaia, is beautiful and already a budding young model. How will modeling be different for her than it was for you? Besides the fact that she has you as a mentor... "The main difference is that I came to New York, and my parents hadn't even been to New York before. I can help guide her, and she'll listen because she knows that I know what I'm talking about. I think the experience in front of a camera is really not much different. If you're modeling, you're modeling. If you're walking down a runway, you're walking down a runway. Some of the names will have changed. I won't necessarily know some of the photographers. They might be really good, and I just might not have worked with them. There's going to come a time when I don't know the good new photographers."
Do you think it's just a hobby for her? Or will she have a full-blown career? "Right now, it's fun for her. She's still only 14. I told her she has time. She can do little things here and there. If it's the right thing with the right team, then I'm happy for her to do those."
You're launching an oil in February as part of your Meaningful Beauty line. How do you decide what products to make ? Why oil? "I notice what my skin needs are and what kind of feedback we're getting from our customers. As I get older my skin needs change. I need hydration. More, more, more hydration."
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