As any fashion commentator will tell you, each season ‘belongs’ to a certain model. In recent years, Gigi and Bella Hadid have taken it in turns to reign on the runway, taking on the prestigious opening and closing slots for numerous high profile designers, while before them, it was their friend Kendall Jenner. Cast your mind back further and it was Cara Delevingne, who walked in over 50 shows for spring/summer 2013. Now, Kaia Gerber is making her mark.
Kaia – the 16-year-old daughter and mini-me of supermodel Cindy Crawford – made her catwalk debut earlier this week at the Calvin Klein spring/summer 2018 show in New York. Since then, she’s walked for Coach, Fenty x Puma, Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang, opening the latter. If her omnipresence in the American fashion capital is anything to go by, we can expect to be seeing a lot more of the model-in-the-making for the rest of the month.
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Traditionally, New York has been the easiest place for celebrity offspring / reality TV stars / Instagram models – à la the Hadids, Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin - to get their big break. It is perhaps hard to believe now, but Kendall’s career as a model was far from a given as little as 3 years ago. When she was chosen to walk in Marc Jacobs show in a sheer top with a short bob haircut, it was considered a major coup for the 18-year-old. At the time, she had only done a little commercial modelling and was still very much tarred with the cheesy reality TV star brush. After being cast in the show, she went on to walk for a long list of designers in every city, cementing her status as fashion’s new ‘It’ girl in the space of four weeks.
It’s almost certain that Kaia will follow the same trajectory. The fact that she isn’t a household name also gives her a distinct advantage over her already-famous predecessors. There were plenty of naysayers accusing Kendall of not being ‘high fashion’ enough or Gigi of being ‘too curvy’ (we know, ridiculous on both counts) and that they were getting an easier ride because of their name. Kaia’s probably not going to suffer the same fate – she was literally born to do this – as evidenced by her killer genes. A dead ringer for Ali MacGraw in Love Story, she’s a natural beauty like her mum, with doe eyes, bold brows and classic bone structure. In fact, she’s refreshingly different to the slew of Instagram models out there today.
While it took the likes of Kendall and the Hadids a little longer to crack London Fashion Week, they all walked for some of the biggest fashion houses in Milan and Paris during their first major runway seasons – so we’ll give Kaia a break if she’s not on any catwalks this weekend for LFW. That said – we’re definitely looking out for her – and if anyone can do it, it’s the daughter of Cindy Crawford. Watch this space.