Ever since Kaia Gerber was spotted on mother Cindy Crawford’s Instagram, the beautiful mini-me’s multifaceted life has been ready for a close-up.
By Molly Creeden
On a perfect Saturday in Los Angeles, at a house in the dusty hills northwest of the city, Kaia Gerber is jumping up and down on a trampoline, smiles breaking easily across her face as a photographer snaps away. A stylist has piled several layers of denim onto her tall frame, but if she’s hot in the 75-degree weather, you wouldn’t know it. Off to the side, Kaia’s family, who have come to support the 13-year-old at her first magazine shoot, look on proudly: There’s her father, businessman Rande Gerber, her 15-year-old brother, Presley, and her mother, who happens to be modeling legend Cindy Crawford.
While it’s Kaia’s second major photo shoot following her appearance in a Young Versace campaign when she was 10, it would be impossible to say how many her mom has clocked over the years. Did her mom pass along any modeling advice? “She knows so much about it,” Kaia says between takes, sipping on a blended chai Frappuccino. “I think it would be hard for her to be on set and not say things like, ‘Psst, Kaia, put your elbow up.’”
Not that her daughter, who is well-spoken and warm, needs much direction. In front of the camera Kaia is easygoing, expressive, and clearly having fun. And, genes aside, her love of acting, musical theater, and dance (she takes a hip-hop class three times a week) are to thank for her stage presence. The California native has enjoyed being a part of local productions so much, she’s even begun auditioning for roles in Hollywood. “I like to explore beyond who I am so I can feel for other people,” Kaia explains of the draw toward acting. “When you become someone else, you better understand others.” It’s not surprising, then, that she loves narratives like John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, or that creative writing, which gives her the opportunity to tell other people’s stories, is her favorite subject.
To read the rest of Kaia’s interview, pick up the December/January issue of Teen Vogue on newsstands December 2.
photos: Peggy Sirota (2); Matt Irwin