If we’ve learnt anything from Gigi and Cara, it’s that the next gen supermodels aren’t just pretty faces. Case in point: Kaia Gerber, daughter of ’90s icon Cindy Crawford. She opens up about her career goals, makeup mantras, and what she’s learnt from her
GF chats to Kaia Gerber!
from algebra class to the cover of Vogue Paris, Kaia Gerber is experiencing the kind of rapid rise to supermodel status that outshines even that of her famous mum. But when you’re the spitting image of one of the most successful models of all time, it kinda makes sense.
During the past year, Kaia has hit the runway for big fashion names including Prada, Fendi, and Moschino. She was also named the face of Marc Jacobs’
Daisy, Alexander Wang and Calvin Klein (alongside her older brother Presley). But with her relaxed approach to modelling, she legit worries more about homework than highlighter…
“I go to school every day, and that does come first,” Kaia tells us. “I use my free time for work, but because I love it so much, it doesn’t feel like work and I still have fun with it. I don’t really have days where I can sit and do nothing!”
Blessed with legs for days and a 5’9” frame (exactly the same height as her mum), Kaia also has the benefit of learning from the ultimate model mentor.
“My mum is very much about ‘less is more,’” she says. “She showed me how to use makeup to enhance your beauty, but not to change your face, which I think is important. Also, she never really had rules about makeup when I was younger.”
“She let me wear as much makeup as I wanted, which I think was good, because she let me make a lot of mistakes. And now that I’m older, unless I’m working, I won’t wear makeup.”
For what it’s worth, Cindy Crawford has no issues with her daughter’s modelling career.
“In some ways, I wish I could have pushed it off a year or two,” Cindy says. “But she’s 16. That’s how old I was when I started, which is young, but in fashion that’s kind of the normal age when people start.
“My daughter just got her driver’s licence. I’m a lot more concerned about her driving by herself than her entering the world of modelling.”
Doing it her way
One of the benefits of growing up around the industry is that Kaia is so down to earth, and won’t be overwhelmed by her sudden celeb status.
“My parents have always taught me to be myself and to follow my instincts,” she reveals. “They also say that you should never let what other people do affect what you want to do. It changes everything when you accept who you are, and you don’t try to change yourself.”
Kaia’s introduction to modelling was jump-started when Donatella Versace, a friend of Cindy’s, saw potential in the then 10-year-old Kaia and did a photo shoot with her for Versace’s junior line.
Seven years later, Kaia found herself sharing the runway with her mum at Versace’s spring 2018 show during Milan Fashion Week last September. Talk about a pinch-me moment.
“I didn’t know my daughter was doing that show,” Cindy reveals. “The models themselves don’t really get booked until the day before or two days before. And finally Kaia got booked for it, and I said: ‘You know I’m doing that show, right?’ She’s like: ‘Wait, do we have to walk down together?’ I said: ‘No… I’m going to walk down with the ladies that are my age. You can go with the girls that are your age!’” Although her rise to modelling stardom has been fast, it turns out Kaia’s always dreamed of emulating her mother.
“I think it was something that I knew I wanted to do,” she says. “My favourite thing about being a model is the people that I meet. I don’t think there’s any other job where you get to learn so many things about so many different people.”
She landed her first solo cover shoot when she was 14 for LOVE magazine (photographed by Kendall Jenner, who has become her friend and mentor). Now, she’s focused on building her portfolio by squeezing as many shows and shoots as she can into her schedule.
When she’s working, she keeps her mum’s wise words in the front of her mind: “She tells me the basic things like be on time, be nice to everyone – which would apply to any job, really.”
Kaia is also hanging on to the bold brows that she luckily inherited.
“I love how natural beauty is becoming big again,” she says. “I have really thick eyebrows, so that makes me want to embrace them. I’m inspired by people embracing their feminine power and just being who they truly are, and not afraid to express themselves.
“I’m a bit more of a rule-breaker than my mum,” she admits. “She was valedictorian. I think I got a little bit of an edgier side from my dad. I’m inspired by other people, but I don’t really try to look like a certain person or anything. I kind of just do what I feel like doing.”
Though Cindy Crawford was one of the game-changing models of her time and helped set the standard for multi-million-dollar cosmetics deals and big endorsements, Kaia identifies as part of the new era of models as brand ambassadors and business moguls.
“I really admire Kendall Jenner, for her professionalism and the way she manages her career,” she says. “I feel like a new generation of supermodel is just beginning to emerge and I hope I can be a part of it.”