ELLE (Canada) - - Celebrity -

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


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

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