Alongside the likes of Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford helped to usher in the new wave of the supermodel. You couldn’t pass a magazine stand in the ’90s without seeing her famous beauty mark. And it looks like modeling runs in the family! It turns out the glamorous star’s daughter has not only inherited her striking looks, but she’s also following in her catwalk footsteps.
You may remember that Cindy was once married to An Officer and a Gentleman star Richard Gere for four years. But she only became a mother after walking down the aisle with Rande Gerber, a nightclub entrepreneur, in 1998. The first of their two children, son Presley, arrived a year later, while daughter Kaia was welcomed into the world in 2001.
Before graduating from Malibu High School, Presley had intended to further his education by studying business at college. But at the age of 16, he got the modeling bug and began to focus on carving a career in its crazy world. Presley subsequently landed a contract with IMG Models and DNA Model Management.
Presley’s most high-profile gig came in 2019 when he was appointed to be a brand ambassador for Twenty. This was the app launched by Arianna Huffington, the Greek-American businesswoman most famed for founding website HuffPost. Under the guise of Prezzy, the celeb offspring has also formed a hip-hop duo with Shwayze named Fairy God Bros.
And Presley already appears to have developed a wild child reputation too. Charlotte D’Alessio, Cameron Rorrison and Sydney Brooke are just a few of the models whose names appeared alongside his in the gossip pages during his teenage years. Much to his parents’ dismay, Presley then had the word “misunderstood” inked on his face in 2020.
Shortly after the youngster received the ink, an insider allegedly told Us Weekly magazine, “Presley is obviously going through a super rebellious phase right now. He is trying to get out of the shadow of his family and find his own way and create his own identity… There’s a lot of pressure on him because his parents and Kaia are so successful… He wants to do his own thing and find his own place in the world.”
Presley may like to think of himself as a rebel, but he still resides at the Malibu guesthouse owned by his famous parents. And he’s often required to help out in the kitchen at Café Habana, the Cuban eatery run by his father. Back in 2016 Presley had told magazine Vogue Paris that he wanted to see whether he could fill Rande’s shoes by opening up his own New York bar.
So how did Presley’s parents meet? Well, they first brushed shoulders at the wedding of Cindy’s agent when they were both already attached. In 2015 the supermodel told Harper’s Bazaar magazine, “I was still with Richard [Gere], and he didn’t want to go to the wedding with me… Rande also had a girlfriend at the time so he wasn’t looking to meet anyone either, and that’s the best time to meet someone because that’s when you’re truly yourselves.”
The pair subsequently developed a friendship, and when their respective relationships broke down, they decided to pursue things on a more romantic level. Cindy once told TV show and podcast Oprah’s Master Class, “Being rooted and based in friendship, it keeps the relationship elevated. There’s always a certain level of respect.”
Cindy and Rande walked down the aisle together in 1998 in the Bahamas. And as you’d expect, it was a glamorous affair. The supermodel told style bible CR Fashion Book 20 years later, “I wore John Galliano off the rack. I couldn’t shop for wedding dresses because we wanted to keep the wedding a secret. So I told a stylist friend we were going to a white party on the beach.”
In 2010 Cindy told British newspaper the Daily Mirror that she and Rande have differing approaches when it comes to their marriage. She said, “We’re not people who talk 20 times a day, but I need to check in more than Rande does. I’m the woman, the more emotional one. He’d be happy to never talk about the relationship again. Rande’s philosophy is, ‘If everything’s good, why talk about it, and if it’s bad, why talk about it?’”
Rande might not exactly be the world’s best communicator. But he still makes quality time with his supermodel wife a priority. In 2017 Cindy told People magazine, “All throughout our marriage, we have made time to just be together, whether it’s a walk on the beach or a weekend away.”
But Cindy admits that they sometimes have to work hard to keep that spark alive. In 2010 she told the Daily Mirror, “If you just wait for the moment to strike, you’re going to have some dry spells. Sometimes you have to grease the wheels a little. You just need to make it a priority and say, ‘Tonight is going to be the night.’ If you’re not in the mood, it’s easy enough to get into the mood.”
Of course, those dry spells likely became more frequent when the pair became parents. But whom do Kaia and Presley take after? Cindy added, “My son is more like Rande, and my daughter’s definitely more me. She likes school, and she cares. My son is more like my husband. School is something to be tolerated for the PE, break time and his friends.”
That same year Cindy told British newspaper Daily Record that motherhood had changed her in a profound way. She said, “As a mother, I always have something better to be doing. I love work still, but I’m less tolerant of my time being wasted. My sister has kids, and she always told me how, when you’re a mother, you don’t have to ask what your priorities are all the time because you’re looking at them. That’s really true.”
Cindy then continued, “Having kids makes those decisions easier. It’s just so fun being with them. I never thought I would like the baby stage, and everyone was saying it gets better. I couldn’t believe it would, but it has. They’re really developing as people. I love just watching them.”
In a 2015 chat with newspaper Los Angeles Times, Cindy admitted that she was still figuring out the whole parenting thing. She added, “But I do know that kids watch you. So if I’m kind to myself, and not going, ‘Oh my God, I hate my… fill in the blank.’ Even though I still have insecurities, I want to be a good example even if I’m faking it sometimes.”
Speaking to Vogue in 2018, Cindy revealed that Kaia and Presley didn’t always appreciate the example she set. The supermodel said, “No matter how cool you are, you’re still not cool to your kids. There is still one element where they’re embarrassed by you, and you’re like ‘I’m not that embarrassing, really,’ but you still embarrass your kids. So I think, in that way, we’re just the same as everyone else.”
But Cindy doesn’t appear to be too hurt by her kids’ embarrassment. She added, “My husband and I, even now, when our kids are older, like if they say they want to have dinner with us, we don’t care what we’re doing, we’ll drop our plans just to take Kaia to sushi or watch a movie with Presley, whatever it is. I think that we just really value that family unit, so that’s my favorite way to spend time…”
In her chat with the Los Angeles Times, Cindy revealed that she had tried to ensure that Kaia and Presley had relatively normal lives while growing up. She added, “But the thing is, you have paparazzi and it’s a little weird when your three-year-old is asking why that guy is taking pictures of us. I never really came up with a good answer.”
Luckily, Cindy doesn’t have any problem with both of her two children courting the spotlight now they’re older. She continued, “I feel like every girl is a model in her own life anyway now because of Instagram. So even if I said no modeling, Kaia would be modeling because she’s posing for her friends for Instagram.”
But Kaia has done more than just pose on Instagram. The model has been asked to grace the catwalk for the likes of Prada, Saint Laurent and Chanel. And she even joined her mother side by side at the Versace Spring 2018 show. Being interviewed alongside Cindy for Vogue a year later, Kaia said, “Never in my life did I think I would have our professional lives collide like that.”
It’s little surprise that Kaia has been able to forge a career in the modeling world. She possesses the same striking facial features as her mother did when first appearing on the cover of Vogue way back in 1985, including those famous cheekbones. In fact, the pair look more like twin sisters than mother and daughter.
Luckily, Kaia doesn’t mind being mentioned in the same breath as her supermodel mother. She told Vogue, “At first, I think any child being compared to their parents is a bit iffy. But if I had to be compared to anyone in the whole world, it is the biggest compliment, especially when people tell me that I act like her. That, to me, is the biggest compliment to receive because she carries herself with the most poise, kindness and grace.”
In fact, Kaia seems to be going out of her way to draw comparisons to her mom Cindy. During one particular walk in the Big Apple together, the pair were pictured wearing very similar outfits. The only major difference was that Kaia was sporting a baseball cap and a slightly longer black leather jacket.
Even when she’s not with her mom, Kaia can’t stop paying tribute to her. While enjoying her 18th birthday celebrations in 2019, the model donned a bondage dress custom made by Versace. It was an outfit that bore a strong resemblance to the one designed by the same fashion house that Cindy wore at the 1992 MTV Awards.
Cindy’s Instagram also shows there have been countless occasions when the pair have undoubtedly co-ordinated their looks on purpose. In one snap, the mother and daughter adopt the exact same pose while both wearing shades and near-identical black outfits. In another they can be seen sporting white T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase, “Mom Genes.”
Even when they’re in full-on relaxation mode, Cindy and Kaia can’t stop dressing like each other. In one Instagram pic taken outside a wellness retreat, the pair are donning matching white robes. And then there’s the paparazzi snap that sees the mother and daughter walking down some steps while both wearing shades and clutching the same issue of Vogue magazine.
In their joint interview with Vogue, Kaia explained just how invaluable her mother had been when it came to launching her own modeling career. She said, “If anyone had a point of reference, I definitely did and one of the best ones. For me [modeling] wasn’t a foreign world to go into and I felt like I understood it. I knew what I was kind of getting into. I’d been around it a lot.”
Kaia continued, “So for me it was, it was definitely less scary to go into. I have so much appreciation for women like my mom and for the other girls who come who don’t know anything. A lot of the time, English isn’t even their first language. I had a unique experience going into the industry.”
Cindy herself believes she’s prepared her daughter well, remarking, “One of the things that I did, and Kaia certainly has done… is, when you go to work with a photographer or designer… do your homework… If I know this photographer shoots this way, when I get to set, I kind of already know what language we might be speaking that day as opposed to just walking in and not knowing anything about the editor or the designer or photographer.”
But speaking to Net-a-Porter magazine in 2019, Cindy refuted claims that Kaia’s modeling career was based on nepotism. She said, “Kaia had some advantages. She is my daughter and people know that. But when people say that I bought her a cover of a magazine, I think, if I was going to buy a cover for someone, it would be me! If I could get someone into a fashion show, I would be getting it for myself.”
Of course, there are some aspects of the modern-day modeling industry that Cindy has no experience of. After all, the World Wide Web hadn’t even been invented when the supermodel was starting out her career, let alone social media. But having grown up in the age of Twitter and Instagram, Kaia knows all about how to capitalize on her online presence.
In her chat with Vogue, Kaia said, “I think it has benefited models and the industry as a whole. I feel like we’ve become a lot more accessible. But when I see images of my mom from when she was modeling, it was very selective, like seeing her on the cover of Vogue, and that’s it.”
And Kaia believes that this new form of accessibility has its pros and cons. She added, “Now as models, you see us from the second we wake up until we go to sleep, and you’re not just seeing us all done up. I think that is really nice to realize that you’re not always looking like you look on the cover of Vogue, but it also takes away a bit of that kind of magic and almost suspense.”
Kaia noted that as a result her teenage years had been wildly different to her mom’s. She said, “Your pictures are still out for the world every single day. It is something that I think is very new and difficult to navigate. It definitely was for me. So I’ve realized, Well, if these pictures are going to be out for the world, it’s nice to have a say in it and to be part of a cool creative process.”
In the same interview, Cindy admitted she worries about how social media affects her daughter. She said, “I do think having more followers and more eyes on you has sometimes felt like a lot of pressure for Kaia, because sometimes she’ll want to just post something silly or funny and then all of a sudden you’re like, ‘Okay, does this fit my image?’ As you were saying, it’s been a great tool, but it also sometimes feels like pressure.”
But Cindy isn’t afraid to put pressure on her daughter herself when it comes to staying in touch. In 2020 she told Closer Weekly, “I can only go, like, a week without seeing [Kaia]. But we talk every day, at least, and text. If she doesn’t text me back within 15 minutes, I do one in all caps and a lot of exclamation points. Just respond, okay? Or else I’m going to track you through your Uber account.”
Kaia may have spent most of her late teenage years aping her mum’s looks. But there are signs that she now wants to carve out her very own style too. In the summer of 2020 the model uploaded a selfie to show off the latest addition to her family, a dog called Milo. But many followers were more intrigued by her newly blonde hair than the adorable pup.
Just a month later, Kaia displayed an even more radical look on the same photo-sharing platform. Yes, the model had opted for a different bottle of hair dye this time around for the pic captioned “pink is punk.” But by October 2020 Kaia appeared to have reverted to the famous brunette locks that she inherited from her mom.