Su­per­model moves

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

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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.”

Fresh face

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.”

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