IT CAN’T BE EASY to have one of the most beloved and astonishingly successful supermodels in the world as your mother. Cindy Crawford drove Vogue to heights of popularity whenever we put her on the cover in the ’90s (she was the bluest of blue-chip cover subjects). Her 19-year-old daughter and this month’s cover star, Kaia Gerber, is a modeling sensation in her own right, beloved by the fashion community and by her millions of followers online. And when I look at the images this month, photographed by Colin Dodgson and styled by Tonne Goodman (“All in the Balance,” page 78), I can’t help but marvel at her uncanny likeness to Cindy and be impressed all over again at Kaia’s poise and grace as she follows in her mother’s professional footsteps. Kaia is an impressive and amazingly mature young woman, expressing herself with characteristic candor and self-awareness in our profile this month. It helps, of course, that she and Cindy are incredibly close. That goes for the whole family, including brother Presley and father Rande.
Cindy kept a loving and protective watch on her daughter’s career when it began; as she tells writer Naomi
Fry, “Kaia has her head on straight.” The proof is in the affecting way Kaia reflects on her own life, especially on the hazards of starting young. “I found myself in situations where I was, like, I actually don’t have the life experience that I need to handle this,” she says.
I’m happy to say that Kaia seems to be handling life brilliantly now. She put her time under lockdown to good use, starting a book club on Instagram (she’s always been a passionate reader), attracting some of the most interesting young authors on the literary scene today, and driving sales in the process. Kaia is wary of the term influencer, but she understands visibility and how to make the most of it. In everything she does, she connects, just as her mother always has.
Speaking of connection, we’re all ready to put our months of isolation behind us and rejoin the world. The pandemic is far from over, alas, even as hopeful signs appear nearly everywhere you look—signs of reemergence, signs of recovery, signs of hope. We wanted to dedicate this issue to a celebration of all those wonderful things we can’t wait to get fully back to: weddings, music festivals, dressing up, going out, touching, hugging, seeing family. The pages that follow were fun to dream up, fun to execute, and filled us all with a much-needed spark of joy. I hope they do the same for you.