It was an explosive moment, one which made global headlines and defined Milan Fashion Week last month.
There they were, five supermodels from the 1990s – Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni, Helena Christensen and Claudia Schiffer – sheathed in slinky gowns of liquid gold.
The statuesque quintet had reunited on the catwalk in a show staged by designer Donatella Versace to mark the 20th anniversary of her brother’s murder. Gianni Versace, who founded the fashion house bearing his name and was widely credited for propagating the supermodel phenomenon, was murdered on the steps of his mansion in Miami Beach in 1997.
The show-stopping reunion in Milan still made Crawford smile last week in Paris at a meet-the-press session organised by Omega. The 51-year-old has been an ambassador for the Swiss luxury watchmaker for the past 22 years.
“Doing the Versace show was a great tribute not just to Gianni and Donatella, but also to the 1990s, which was a fun time in fashion.”
“It was great looking back. My daughter was also on the runway with me, so in some ways, it was looking forward too, to see what’s coming for her,” she says, referring to Kaia Gerber, her 16-year-old daughter with businessman Rande Gerber.
If the recently concluded Paris Fashion Week is any indication, the future is dazzling for Kaia.
The spitting image of her mother, she was a breakout star, appearing in many of the week’s hottest shows, including those for Chloe, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel.
Last week, she and her 18-year-old brother Presley, also a model, were appointed Omega ambassadors alongside their mother.
While Crawford is proud of Kaia’s vault into superstardom, she is also nervous.
“She did one show and boom, she’s suddenly everywhere. We can’t control it, that’s the way it is. But I worry that her shelf life may be shorter because we use up images faster now.”
In her time, she said, her fans had to wait one month before they found out if she was on the cover of Vogue or other magazines.
“But now, it’s multiple images on Instagram, on social media. The turnover is faster. As the mother of a young model, I don’t want people to get sick of her even before she’s even started. How do you manage that? I’m not sure you can,” she said.
With a sigh, she said she wished she could slow down the career trajectory of Kaia, who has two million followers on Instagram.
“But the wheels are already in motion. And she really wanted it. When she was 14, I told her, ‘Wait until you’re 16. And all of a sudden, she’s 16 and I’m like, ‘Arrrrghhhh, I should have said 18’.”
But the statuesque beauty takes comfort in the fact that she has managed to have an incredible modelling career and avoided many of the pitfalls associated with the profession.
With her guidance, she believes both Kaia and Presley, who was honoured earlier this year as Emerging Model at the Daily Front Row Los Angeles Fashion Awards, can have the same.
“Many teenagers say things like ‘You don’t know anything’, but they don’t say that to me because they know that I know.”
Having her two children appointed Omega ambassadors makes her chuffed.
With a laugh, she said she has been with the watch brand longer than she has been married to Mr Gerber, 55.
Besides being one of the founders of the Gerber Group chain of bars and restaurants, her husband of 19 years also started Casamigos, one of the fastest-growing tequila brands in the world, with actor George Clooney and real estate developer Mike Meldman.
The trio recently sold the company to a British beverage firm for a whopping US$1 billion (S$1.36 billion).
Crawford said of her relationship with Omega: “It started out as a blind date. Now it’s 22 years and we’re like family, even more so now that my kids are joining the family.”
“I appreciate that they have allowed me to become a woman. They don’t expect me to still be the young 20 something that I was. They use me differently. They celebrate my evolution,” added Crawford, who took Kaia along on a five-day charitable mission to Peru in 2014 with Omega and Orbis, a flying eye hospital.
Together with their parents, the Gerber siblings made their first appearance as Omega ambassadors last Friday at the Hotel de Sully in Paris where they opened the Her Time exhibition.
The exhibition, which runs until Oct 17, features some of Omega’s historical and iconic women’s timepieces since 1902 as well as several memorable advertising campaigns. The exhibition has previously been staged in Moscow, Sydney and Shanghai.
Crawford, who has appeared on more than 1,000 covers of magazines worldwide, is happy with where her life is at the moment.
“I love doing work that I love,” said the businesswoman, who has her own Cindy Crawford Home line of furniture and home accessories. “I love my family and my home life. One of the great things about maturing is finding that balance for yourself.
“It helps you face the not so fun things about getting older.”
This article was first published on The Straits Times