“WE ALL WANT TO BELIEVE IN THE MOVIE VERSION OF LOVE. IT WAS CRUSHING, AND IT MADE ME REALIZE THAT I HAD TO LOOK AT RELATIONSHIPS REALISTICALLY.”
models approach their work. From her early days as a catalogue model in Chicago to today on our set, Crawford’s reputation for professionalism is on show. The moment she emerges from hair and makeup wearing a thigh-high Fausto Puglisi dress, Crawford is ready to work. Only 15 minutes into the shoot, we get our cover shot. “She just gets it,” says photographer Max Abadian. “The dress, the pose—the attitude. She’s amazing.” We decide to go live with the cover shoot and post a short clip of Crawford working her angles on Instagram. Someone quickly responds: “Good lord. Shivers watching. Legend at work.” It’s what we’re all thinking.
Annett Wolf, her long-time publicist, arrives and nods her approval of the shots. “There’s no one like her,” says Wolf. “She has been so clever with her career and her life.” Crawford, who turns 50 this February, finally agreed to chronicle some of that amazing life in Becoming, a book she’s releasing this fall with Rizzoli.
Over lunch with the crew, Crawford tells us that it’s not an autobiography, because she wasn’t interested in doing a tell-all book, and it’s not a makeupand-exercise book. “It’s about reflecting on the lessons I’ve learned based on the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met who all helped me become ‘Cindy Crawford.’”
Those people include Roger Legal, a photographer from her hometown of DeKalb, Ill., whom she credits with kick-starting her modelling career, as well as legendary lensmen like Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Steven Meisel and Herb Ritts, who captured her most iconic images. She also writes about the origin of the ’90s supermodels, her lucrative endorsement deals with Revlon and Pepsi and how she eventually took control of her career with her business ventures—everything from fitness videos and swimsuit calendars to her Meaningful Beauty line.
“I had the courage to take on this book project because I did Oprah’s Master Class series,” Crawford explains. “When I was first asked to do the program, I was intimidated because there were women like Maya Angelou involved and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, what am I going to say? How am I going to be able to find lessons that are applicable to other people—even though they’re not models?’ What’s brilliant about the way they do that show is that they help you find those lessons. After it was done, I thought, ‘Wow, I have learned a few things; this life does add up to wisdom and knowledge.’”
During our one-hour conversation, Crawford shares some of those defining moments, starting with the one she describes as the most life changing.
“I didn’t want to do an autobiography because when you do one, you have to be willing to talk about everything, and there are things that I just don’t want to share—or at least I’m not ready to share at this point in my life.” Acetate and crystal dress (Mugler, muglerusa.com), cotton coat dress and leather belt (Anthony Vaccarello, anthonyvaccarello.com), 14-karatgold and crystal cuff, Alexis Bittar (alexisbittar.com) and 18-karatgold-plated-bronze ring (Bjørg, bjorgjewellery.com)
Sequined silk dress (Roberto Cavalli, robertocavalli.com), 14-karatgold-plated-metal and calf-hair collar (Alexis Bittar, alexisbittar.com), 10-karat-gold-plated-brass and faux-pearl knuckle cuff (Bond Hardware, bond-hardware.com) and 18-karat-gold-plated-silver, diamond and black-spinel ring (Bjørg, bjorgjewellery.com). Fishnet stockings, stylist’s own
THE NEW SUPERMODELS
In the ’90s, Crawford and the other supes—Naomi, Linda, Tatjana and Christy—starred in George Michael’s “Freedom” video. It was a watershed moment in fashion and music. Taylor Swift invited today’s supes—Gigi, Karlie and Cara—to appear in her “Bad Blood” video along with Crawford, who was cast as the headmistress. “It was kinda cool,” says Crawford. “It’s about girls not being sexual objects of desire; they’re badasses.”
Cut-out technical dress (Philipp Plein, philippplein.com), gold collar (Alexis Bittar, alexisbittar. com) and 18-karat-goldplated-silver chain ring and 18-karat-gold-plated-silver and diamond rings (Bjørg, bjorgjewellery.com). For details, see Shopping Guide. Stylist, Juliana Schiavinatto (P1M.ca); hair, Marcus Francis (starworksartists.com); makeup, Jo Baker (forwardartists.com); manicure, Tom Bachik (global nail artist, L’Oréal Paris); art direction, Brittany Eccles