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Celebrating Cindy

Q&A

The seemingly ageless supermodel is turning 50. What better way to celebrate than with a visual account of her illustrious career? Sarah Harrelson catches up with the legend.

You have worked with so many incredible photographers. Which photographer had the biggest impact on your career and why?
There isn’t a singular answer to that question. There are so many great photographers that have impacted me and my career. In my book, there is a section dedicated to all of my photographer mentors and the different lessons I learned from each of them.

What was the impetus to do this book now?
As I am approaching my 50th birthday, I thought I could either hide from that number or embrace it and all the lessons I’ve learned on my journey. This book celebrates my career as a model, but also what I learned along the way.

On the eve of your birthday, what wisdom would you impart on young models, or young women for that matter?
I always tell young models to be professional—show up on time and try to learn the craft of modeling. Advice for young women is more personal, especially as I have a 14-year-old daughter. I want her to not be so hard on herself—to see the positives instead of focusing on what she perceives as flaws. When I was a young girl, I hated my beauty mark; and that ended up being my trademark. You never know!

What do you see as the main changes in the fashion world today from when you started in the business?
The biggest change I see is the power of social media. I think it’s great for young models—it gives them a chance to be more than just a pretty face and have a point of view. I was lucky that MTV’s House of Style gave me that same opportunity, but it wasn’t the norm for my generation of models.

When you reflect back on such a storied career, what are a few stand-out moments?
Career-wise, I’ve had some great highlights—my first Vogue cover with Richard Avedon, getting my first cosmetics contract with Revlon, doing my own first project with my exercise video and taking the chance and doing Playboy not once, but twice. I also loved doing the debut cover of John Kennedy Jr.’s magazine, George, and Vanity Fair with K.D. Lang, and walking down a Versace runway with Christy, Linda and Naomi while Freedom! ‘90 blared over the speakers!

Many people believe that women come into the best years of their life in their fifties. What’s next for you?
I hope that’s true! I definitely feel a shift; and while looking back during the process of doing my book was fun, I’m excited to see what’s next. Of course, I will still continue with my skincare line, Meaningful Beauty—if anything, taking care of myself is even more important now. But I also am enjoying taking on new projects. I have had a lot of fun doing Cindy Crawford Home with Rooms To Go, so hopefully I will continue with that. I am also trying to develop a couple of projects for TV and some documentaries.

Do you have a daily go-to style?
Jeans, heels, a cute top and a leather jacket—but the heels are starting to get lower!

Who are your favorite designers of the moment?
Tom Ford, Roberto Cavalli (always) and Stella McCartney.

What’s the one piece you’ve had in your wardrobe the longest?
My Omega watch.

 

Images copyright of Helmut Newton, Arthur Elgort and Gilles Bensimon.

 

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