Cindy Craw­ford talks age­ing grace­fully and model chil­dren.

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - Words by AN­GELA MOLLARD

Ear­lier this month, Cindy Craw­ford was on a boat on Syd­ney Har­bour when Ge­orge Michael’s Freedom! ’90 started play­ing. “Do your bath thing,” urged a fel­low rev­eller, en­cour­ag­ing the su­per­model to reprise her fa­mous tub scene from the video. And so it was that one of the world’s most recog­nis­able faces threw back her head and be­gan to sing the 1990 an­them – al­beit this time while fully clothed.

It has been 27 years since she shot the iconic music video with a clutch of other su­pers, so could she even re­call the words? Of course she could.

IF LINDA EVAN­GE­LISTA was the model who re­fused to get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day and Naomi Camp­bell be­came syn­ony­mous with swear­ing and throw­ing phones, then Craw­ford was the good girl. While Christy Turling­ton later ad­mit­ted to try­ing to learn the lyrics to the song in a taxi on the way to the Freedom! ’90 shoot, Craw­ford was the one who’d lis­tened to it over and over on her Walk­man, de­ter­mined she’d know ev­ery line off by heart.

El­e­gant in a sheath dress while in Aus­tralia to pro­mote Omega’s Her Time ex­hi­bi­tion of vin­tage watches, Craw­ford, 51, is as pol­ished and pro­fes­sional as ever. Like each of the mod­els who fea­tured in Freedom! ’90, she tweeted fol­low­ing Michael’s death, but rather than look­ing back nos­tal­gi­cally, she fo­cused on the fact his music still res­onates: “Ge­orge’s death is so sad, but his mes­sage is so em­pow­er­ing and ev­ery bit as rel­e­vant to­day as it was then.”

Craw­ford, too, has re­mained rel­e­vant – not an easy task when your in­dus­try is as ephemeral as a 10-sec­ond Snapchat. Hav­ing seemed the least colour­ful of the orig­i­nal su­pers dur­ing their ’90s hey­day, Craw­ford is the one who ap­pears to have got it right. There’s the 19-year mar­riage to her hus­band Rande Ger­ber, two ge­net­i­cally blessed yet nor­mal kids, great friends, en­dur­ing busi­ness re­la­tion­ships such as her work with Omega, and an in­nate hap­pi­ness born of sound choices rather than good luck. She says it comes down to pri­ori­tis­ing the right things.

“We don’t live in New York or LA, but in Malibu, which is more like a vil­lage,” she tells Stel­lar. “I make my hus­band a pri­or­ity and don’t take things for granted. If I’m away for three days, then I make sure I’m around the next week. I’m very re­al­is­tic about how much time stuff takes and I find the bal­ance.”

That bal­ance is ev­i­dent in her face. Craw­ford is just as stun­ning as you’d ex­pect her to be, but she also boasts the same fine lines you’d find in any­one her age. It’s re­as­sur­ing – un­til she sits in front of the cam­era and you un­cover her se­cret: bone struc­ture. Ev­ery­thing fits to­gether like some mag­nif­i­cent piece of ar­chi­tec­ture, and therein lies the dif­fer­ence be­tween model and mor­tal.

Is age­ing more con­fronting, Stel­lar asks, when your cur­rency is your face? “I don’t look the same as when I was 20 or 30, but the chal­lenge is to em­brace that and the life you’ve built along with that,” she says. “You wouldn’t have that life if you didn’t have a few wrin­kles.”

Some­times she looks at her 15-yearold daugh­ter Kaia, a model, and sees her own hair or legs how they used to be. But there’s no envy, just ma­ter­nal pride. An agency ap­proached her to sign both chil­dren – her son Pres­ley, 17, is also mod­el­ling – and Craw­ford pro­fesses to be ex­cited rather than wary about the ex­pe­ri­ences ahead.

“Kaia would be a model even if I wasn’t her mother,” she in­sists. “She has the look, the body pro­por­tions and she knows how to move. Cer­tainly be­ing my daugh­ter has helped get eyes on her, and the big ad­van­tage is she doesn’t have to do all the crappy cat­a­logue jobs that I had to do.”

While Craw­ford started out mod­el­ling belts, Kaia has al­ready worked with top pho­tog­ra­phers in­clud­ing Steven Meisel, Mario Testino and Bruce We­ber. “It’s great be­cause she’s learn­ing from the best, but it’s also a dis­ad­van­tage as it’s easy to make a Valentino gown look good,” Craw­ford says. “You also have to learn to make some­thing out of noth­ing.”

Fur­ther separat­ing Kaia’s ex­pe­ri­ence from her mum’s is the ad­vent of so­cial me­dia. Mod­els like Cara Delev­ingne and Ken­dall Jen­ner are booked be­cause of their fol­low­ing but, as Craw­ford adds, it’s a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity. “So­cial me­dia is like a hungry lit­tle ma­chine – you have to feed it.”

So how does she man­age her chil­dren’s need to build a fol­low­ing with the com­mon parental re­frain to “get off your phone”? “It’s all about fam­ily val­ues,” she says. “If we go out for din­ner, I don’t get out my phone and they take their cues from us. Both my kids are pretty good – but I do feel bad for them, and all teenagers, be­cause they have no pri­vacy.”

And as for the edict women over 50 shouldn’t have long hair, Craw­ford scoffs. “Some­one cut off my pony­tail when I was 18, and I was so trau­ma­tised I’ve never cut it short again,” she says. “What­ever makes you feel good – that’s the rule.” The Her Time ex­hi­bi­tion is at Omega’s Martin Place bou­tique in Syd­ney un­til March 24.

“I don’t look the same as when I was 20 or 30… the chal­lenge is to em­brace that”

SU­PER POW­ERS (clock­wise from top) (from left) Linda Evan­ge­lista, Cindy Craw­ford, Naomi Camp­bell and Christy Turling­ton in 1991; star­ring in the new Omega cam­paign; with Rande Ger­ber and their kids Kaia and Pres­ley re­cently.

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