Hudson Kroenig: remember that name. He's fashion's rising runway star. He's also four.
On Tuesday night, Hudson walked his third Chanel runway show, at the annual Chanel Metiers d'Art collection in Scotland. Dressed like Little Lord Fauntleroy in a bowed blouse, knickers, kilt, and a velvet beanie, it was the kind of outfit that would prompt most kids his age to throw a tantrum. But Hudson is a professional.
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At age one, he was photographed for German Vogue. By two he was taking Paris' fashion week by storm, walking for Chanel hand in hand with his father Brad. By four he had two campaigns (Fendi, Dolce&Gabbana), and several glossy photo shoots (W, Harper's Bazaar, Pirelli Calendar) under his belt.
Hudson was born into the industry. The 32-year-old Brad Kroenig is one of the leading male supermodels in the industry. After rising the ranks from Abercrombie posterboy to the face Chanel, Brad became close with Karl Lagerfeld, the iconic brand's creative lead. When Hudson was born in 2008, he named the eccentric designer as his son's godfather.
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Lagerfeld has not taken the role lightly. He's already dedicated a photo exhibition and a Chanel book to his young godson. After making his runway debut in 2010, alongside his father for Chanel's Spring/Summer line, Lagerfeld, asked Hudson back the next year-this time without his dad. Ouch.
Why would the designer behind a grown-up fashion brand chose a child as it's muse?
"Hudson brings the 'aww; factor to Chanel shows," Fashionista's executive editor Leah Chernikoff tells Yahoo! Shine. "That's never a bad thing. Fashion can seem over-serious and severe even but you can't help smiling when an adorable three-year-old hits the runway holding hands with his gorgeous model-dad."
The rewards go both ways.
"They seem to have a pretty close relationship," says Chernikoff. "And if godfathers are supposed to be imposing and formidable Karl certainly fits the bill."
Hudson's model salary is sprinkled with personal gifts from "Uncle Karl."
"We had a deal, remember?" Brad Kroenig instructed his son, durning an interview with the New York Times. "Show him the markers Karl gave you."
Hudson's collection of Parisian sketch pencils, hand-sewn Lagerfeld replica dolls and Fendi-stamped kid-sized sneakers, are part of the collection the toddler has amassed for display before an endlessly amused fashion press.
Last year, the website Coveteur photographed Hudson's wardrobe. Draped over toy trucks and dusted easel chalkboards in his New York City bedroom, were the Fendi overcoats, leather cowboy boots, designer logo high-tops and "layering" options Hudson is said to covet. Shawls are apparently his new favorite thing, and blazer's are this boy's best friend. But really?
In a "behind-the-scenes" photograph on the same website, there's Hudson wearing a batman t-shirt like any other kid, watching TV with his dad.
Whether Hudson really enjoys being the darling of the fashion world remains to be seen. But to his father, a Missouri-born college drop-out who has masterfully weathered an industry with a short fuse, the exposure is a good thing.
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"It's the best education, traveling all over the world," Kroenig told the New York Times. His wife Nicole, who recently gave birth to their second child, Jamieson, has never publicly commenting on her son's career.
At a Chanel show in March, Vogue claims little Hudson outshone fellow catwalkers Miranda Kerr and Stella Tenant.
In an industry that take itself gravely seriously, kids are a secret weapon. They are like aces: they can trump any card, even the female celebrity supermodel.
But all that exposure at such an early age has it's cost. Hudson, with his steely stare, appears to be growing up fast. ""Hudson loves to take pictures with Daddy," according to Coveteur. "[He] thinks its cool to participate in special shoots, and always talks about all the 'pretty model girls,' already a ladies man."
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