Talk to Cindy Crawford for any length of time and you’ll realize why she is, well, Cindy Crawford.
The regal posture; the genuine smile; the sweet, brown eyes.
Cindy Crawford is all that. The whole package. Just as pretty on the inside as out.
She’s also a consummate professional. One of the original supermodels was staying at the 1 Hotel South Beach to attend a handful of appearances introducing her photographic memoir, Becoming. The only constant: Unlike many local folks, the 49-year-old was always on-the-dot punctual.
“I’m very organized,” Crawford said Tuesday at a luncheon at Faena Miami Beach at Casa Claridge’s Hotel. ”
Crawford attributes much of her continued success to treating modeling like a job, not a lifestyle.
“I was on time, I worked hard and came prepared,” she said. “I would give that advice to anyone and not just in the modeling industry, but in any profession.”
Writing Becoming was not on Crawford’s bucket list.
“They’d approached me over the years, and I didn’t want to do another makeup book and I had done the workout videos. I didn’t have anything new to say there,” explained Crawford, who has a skincare company, Meaningful Beauty. “I also didn’t want to do another big coffee table book that you look through once and put back on the shelf.”
Finally, the timing was right, thanks to a big birthday knocking on her door in February.
“Turning 50 wasn’t something I was looking forward to,” she admitted. “But I thought, ‘You can either embrace it or run from it.’ ”
Becoming spans her 30-year-plus career with 50 images and 50 life lessons she learned along the way from starting out in a small town in Illinois to moving to New York City and hitting it big. Really big.
“I look at these pictures, and I can see my own growth. I’m not the same girl,” she said of the tome, which is also a thank-you note to the more memorable photographers who shot her. “I was so proud to have worked with many of the greats, some of whom are no longer with us.”
Is there nudity? Bet on it. But the images are done in a classy-Cindy kind of way.
“If I didn’t include at least a few it wouldn’t be representative of my career,” said the two-time Playboy cover girl (once at age 21, then again 10 years later). “I have no regrets. When I’m having a bad day and feeling like, Ugh! I can pull these pictures out!”
Wait, so Cindy Crawford has ugh days?
“Yes! Believe me, it’s challenging. It’s a process. The hair, the makeup, the styling. The images you are inundated with are the best moments.”
Sorry but there’s no denying the simple fact that Crawford is drop dead gorgeous. But there’s so much more. Crawford is also supermom.
She and husband Rande Gerber make sure their two kids — Presley, 16, and budding model Kaia, 14 —stay grounded.
“Half of what we say goes in one ear and out the other,” Crawford said. “So we lead by example. They see that you’re polite to waiters, so it’s like ‘We’ll be nice to waiters.’ You exercise? You eat right (most of the time)? You work hard. ‘We’ll do the same.’ You can’t say, ‘Oh, you really shouldn’t smoke’ while puffing away. Hopefully this is working.”
Crawford is supportive of Kaia following in her footsteps.
“Sometimes I noticed teenagers don’t listen to what you say [laughs], but about modeling she does. I’m not pushing her, but I do guide her. I can help her navigate and tell her what photographers to work with and who’s not going to tart her up,” said Crawford, who designs a line of furniture for Rooms to Go. “Not pushing her into this industry would make me a hypocrite. It gave me so much: I got to travel, gain financial independence. It gave me empowerment.”
The industry has changed — possibly for the better.
“I am envious of this new crop of models who grew up with social media — Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid. They are able to write their own stories and have more control, and I think their audience loves connecting with them. My generation relied on how others presented us.”
Final question is the universal question: How does she juggle it all?
“For the past five years, I’ve made the same New Year’s Eve resolution: to say no more, especially as my kids get older. That time when you have your family home, it’s over like that. I don’t want to miss it. If you feel like you’re overwhelmed, you need to reassess because you’re not doing any one thing really well.”
Again, it’s all about balance.
“I have two sisters who are teachers in Colorado, and they don’t work any harder or less than I do. Mine is a different kind of pressure. We’re all busy, but I feel like I run my life. I’m realistic about my schedule. Some days it works out better than others.”