Cindy Crawford Is the Real MVP

I do some weird shit so  when I told a few of my friends that I bought tickets to see Cindy Crawford and Fern Mallis  speak at the 92nd Street,  oddly they didn’t judge me nor have any usual scratch their head moments- which I was expecting.

A vast majority of my friends I’ve known over half of my life. They have witnessed me stealing Vogue magazine from my Home Ec teacher, listened to me dream of attending fashion shows in Europe so going to see one of the original supermodels speak was not as  weird as previous events I have attended.  In my adolescent years, I dreamed of being a model, growing up in the Supermodel Era, this was perfectly normal but not as popular at it is today, hell anyone with an Instagram account can say they are a model. Back in the 1990s, pre-internet, pre social media, models were mega celebrities and Cindy Crawford was the reigning queen, a perfect mixture of Midwestern values, brains and of course beauty. In  many ways the Cindy Crawford story  resonated to me.  Maybe it was the scholarly aspect- Crawford received a scholarship to Northwestern University, I attended magnet and specialized primary schools or maybe it was just the fact she was engaging, attractive and didn’t take herself to seriously but sought to make some coin in a rather unforgiving industry.   

In retrospect, I admired Cindy’s career leverage more than her looks-  even at age twelve. Yes, I was a Black girl from a working class section of Brooklyn, just waiting for all of my baby teeth to fall it to get braces and then hopefully be interviewed for House of Style. Or maybe it was the hope that you can sound as good as you look. Crawford was the beginning of the Model Mogul prototype, not just being a pretty face but a brand and one with longevity.  I wanted Cindy Crawford’s platform, loving your career, looking great and mastering reinvention.  I did not want to be Cindy Crawford, I wanted to be Cindy Crawford LLC. I was me  and I was enough- sorry if you thought I would hate my hair or  skin and admire the opposite nor was I envious of Crawford- that would be preposterous.   I thought I was good enough, all 5’4” of me- now you can laugh.  My though process wasn’t a new age version of The Bluest Eye or if we factor in myself and Cindy, we could call it the The Brownest Mole, no instead, I saw myself in Cindy’s shoes, able to make bank, sound really smart and look great.

From model, to television host, to entrepreneur, Cindy Crawford along with Tyra Banks, Iman and Kathy Ireland are powerhouses as being the mothers of extending a modeling career. This is where it gets amazing, yes we know these women to be beautiful and yes they were introduced to first as models but, now they are mega brands and oh yeah, they happen to be genetically blessed.

During the interview, Fern asked Cindy a number of questions about favorite photographers, the number of Vogue covers and even details on her first husband Richard Gere, but what true key points that resonate  were when Crawford said “ partner with companies that will invest with you.” Crawford applied that with her long running Revlon contract which ignited a flame in her to start her skincare line Meaningful Beauty which has 300 million dollars in global sales- not bad for a woman who worked in Illinois cornfields as a teen.

As visually   pleasing as Crawford maybe, her most rewarding trait was self-confidence, accountability and goal oriented aspect of being on-brand. Cindy C. your ability to exploit a market without exploiting your brand all with grassroots in DeKalb, made a young girl in Brooklyn in the 1990s dream of similar dreams and aspirations .