Even when she already conquering the spotlight at just 14, Kaia Gerber seemed remarkably clear-headed, despite being Cindy Crawford's daughter and doppelgänger. Despite her early success, she was adamant that 16 was the "proper age" to start modeling, "because once you start you can’t really go back."
Gerber was definitely right about that. True to her word, she walked her first fashion show just days after coming of age, making her splashy debut by opening Calvin Klein and quickly going on to dominate the rest of the spring 2018 shows last fall, walking the runways of Rihanna's Fenty Puma, Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, Coach, Prada, Versace, Valentino, Miu Miu, Saint Laurent, Moschino, and Fendi.
Luckily, she had a seasoned chaperone: Crawford dutifully came along to Gerber's many, many shows, taking her rightful seat in the front row—and even joined her on the runway at Versace. Now, however, Gerber is starting off the new year by leaping a step ahead of mom. In addition to achieving supermodeldom in just one season, Gerber's now becoming an actual designer, too, thanks to none other than Karl Lagerfeld, who's tapped Gerber to create a capsule collection for his eponymous line, called, of course, the Karl Lagerfeld x Kaia collection.
In the last few months, it's been clear that Gerber has shared a special relationship with Lagerfeld. After walking in Fendi, Lagerfeld tapped her to not only walk, but also open, the show of yet another brand he's creative director of: Chanel. He also flew Gerber out to his hometown of Hamburg in December for Chanel's extravagant Métiers d’Art show.
Their capsule collection, however, proves that their bond has actually began off the runway, even before Paris Fashion Week. According to Pier Paolo Righi, CEO of the Karl Lagerfeld line, they've actually been "working intensely over the last months with Kaia in LA and at our studio in Paris," with Gerber apparently showing off her "clear vision, passion and engagement."
Righi also added that working with Garber was Lagerfeld's idea: "When Karl first told us his idea to collaborate with Kaia, we were all excited by the incredible potential and power of bringing their two worlds together," he told WWD. Apparently, they plan to do so explicitly. While it's a long way off until it'll hit stores in September, WWD reports that the collection will meld Lagerfeld's "Parisian chic" aesthetic with Gerber's "signature West Coast casual style"—meaning items like, say, a rumored pair of elbow-length studded leather gloves. (The capsule will also include ready-to-wear, footwear, and accessories like jewelry and sunglasses.)
The new direction is just another similarity between Gerber and Gigi Hadid, whom the the former has long said she looks up to. Both have model moms and siblings, grew up in Malibu, did the same high school program, and now, of course, are already supermodel-designers, with Hadid already into her fourth season working with Tommy Hilfiger. All that remains to be seen is whether Gerber can generate more than 150 percent in sales for Lagerfeld like Hadid has for Hilfiger (and if Lagerfeld will follow in Hilfiger's footsteps by turning Gerber into a Barbie doll).
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