SU­PER BOSSES Rosie Huntington­whiteley and Cindy Craw­ford dis­cuss their grow­ing beauty brands

AF­TER RUL­ING THE RUN­WAYS FOR YEARS, MEGAMODELS ROSIE HUNT­ING­TON-WHITE­LEY AND CINDY CRAW­FORD ARE THE BADASSES RUN­NING THEIR OWN BRANDS

InStyle (USA) - - Contents - BY AN­GELIQUE SER­RANO

Hav­ing suc­cess­ful ca­reers in front of the cam­era wasn’t enough for these su­per­mod­els, so they cap­i­tal­ized on their fash­ion­able wis­dom by start­ing their own brands. Rosie Hunt­ing­ton-white­ley, founder and ed­i­tor in chief of the beauty web­site Rose Inc., talks with Cindy Craw­ford, co-creator of the skin-care line Mean­ing­ful Beauty, about blaz­ing the trail.

ROSIE HUNT­ING­TON-WHITE­LEY: The first time I saw you was at Nobu in Mal­ibu. I’d gone in a T-shirt and sweat­pants. Then you walked in, one of my all-time icons, so el­e­gant in great jeans and a beau­ti­ful blouse, with clas­sic hair and makeup. Heads turned, and I thought, “That is a su­per­model.” Then I thought, “I can never again go to a restau­rant in sweat­pants”—and I never have. [laughs]

CINDY CRAW­FORD: I saw you in Heathrow Air­port, and I thought I’d dis­cov­ered the next great model. [Fashion pho­tog­ra­pher] Mario Testino was on our flight; when he greeted you I thought, “I guess I’m not the only per­son to re­al­ize this woman is gor­geous.”

RHW: Thank you. I’ve had 16 years in the hair and makeup chair! And I’ve learned so much from the artists [I’ve worked with]. Over the years I would get asked about my beauty and well­ness reg­i­men, and when I shared informatio­n on so­cial me­dia, I saw the re­sponse it was get­ting. I wanted to take what I was do­ing and build the web­site along with an en­gaged com­mu­nity of avid beauty lovers. It was about de­moc­ra­tiz­ing beauty and shar­ing my ac­cess, which is so sim­i­lar to your point of view [with Mean­ing­ful Beauty].

CC: I’ve al­ways loved mod­el­ing, but when I was 35, I had been with Revlon for 17 years. My con­tract was up for re­newal, and I thought, “Maybe this is the time to do my own thing.” I’d been work­ing with [cos­metic doc­tor] Jean-louis Sebagh, who taught me a lot about taking care of my skin. If I did some­thing with him, it would be a way to share the ac­cess I’d had. Es­pe­cially at 35, you start re­al­iz­ing, “I’m not go­ing to be able to avoid this aging thing.” So Mean­ing­ful Beauty was born out of that re­la­tion­ship.

RHW: I’m an am­bi­tious per­son, and I love to learn, so for me it was the nat­u­ral next step to do my own thing. Now I call the shots, which is the best but also a lot of work. When some­thing is suc­cess­ful, that’s on me; and when some­thing fails, that also comes down to me. [laughs] Be­ing the founder of a com­pany is 24/7, and you get out what you put in.

CC: I to­tally agree. I started in 2001, and it’s like go­ing to busi­ness school. We have board meet­ings four times a year with all the fi­nan­cial guys. I had a chem­i­cal-en­gi­neer­ing schol­ar­ship and stud­ied math but never busi­ness math. It took me a while to find my voice in those meet­ings, but, even­tu­ally, I re­al­ized that I am the world ex­pert on Cindy Craw­ford. No one knows more about my brand than I do, and Mean­ing­ful Beauty is a part of that. It was em­pow­er­ing, for me as a woman, to find my voice at a board­room ta­ble.

RHW: That’s def­i­nitely some­thing I’m in the process of [fig­ur­ing out]. Right now it’s about hir­ing a great team.

CC: You have to be a men­tor for them, then let them fly and not mi­cro­man­age. For ex­am­ple, I hate just say­ing no—i don’t think that’s help­ful. I ex­plain why it’s a no. Then, hope­fully, I’ll see what I ex­plained re­flected in the next thing that comes to me.

RHW: You can prob­a­bly speak more to this, but isn’t it most re­ward­ing to see some­body wear­ing a prod­uct you’ve de­signed or pro­mot­ing some­thing you’ve en­dorsed? I’ve had a lin­gerie and beauty brand in the U.K. [Rosie for Au­to­graph at Marks & Spencer] for the past seven years, and when I’m in Lon­don, with­out fail, a woman on the street will flash me her bra.

CC: It’s true. One of my most mem­o­rable Mean­ing­ful Beauties—that’s what I call peo­ple who use my prod­ucts—was a woman work­ing at TSA at the air­port. She wasn’t wear­ing any makeup, and she was like, “Look at my skin! Do you know how old I am?” It makes you feel so good. Only when you take the time to reflect back do you think, “You know what? We started this from noth­ing. That’s pretty cool.”

RHW: Yeah, as a work­ing mum, hav­ing many plates spin­ning at once…there are days that can be re­ally challengin­g. Then there are days when you truly feel like a badass.

CC: The real badass thing, Rosie, is get­ting up the next morn­ing af­ter you’ve had that bad day. I think that’s when all women are badasses.

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