DeKalb native Cindy Crawford, who launched her career as a model in Chicago, was back in town this week — both celebrating her second Michigan Avenue Magazine cover at Chicago Cut Steakhouse and making an in-store appearance at the Art Van Furniture store on Elston.
At the Michigan Avenue fete, I asked the superstar how she approaches her brand. (Crawford was a brand even before we used that term as much as we do today.)
“A lot of it in the beginning was just being lucky,” said Crawford. “But I think one thing that’s given my career its longevity is I’m not trying to be something I’m not. When it comes to endorsing products, I do things for myself. I think a lot of people who approach the process of endorsements do so from the standpoint of ‘What do people want?’
“I don’t do that. It’s about what I want. What kind of exercise video would I want to watch? What kind of skin care would I want to use? What kind of a furniture would I want in my home?
“So knowing who you are and using that as the litmus test has helped my fans or my customers realize I have integrity and authenticity.”
Given that Crawford looks so amazing at age 48, I had to ask her share her approach to looking good.
“I think Coco Chanel said it first: ‘The face you have at 25 is the gift that God gave you, but the one you have at 50 is the face you deserve.’
“Listen, I was given a good ‘envelope.’ I can’t take credit for that. But I took care of it. I wasn’t a party girl. I didn’t smoke. I have always exercised. About food? I always say I’m 80 percent good, about 80 percent of the time,” Crawford said with a big laugh. “One of those 20 percent exceptions is when I’m back here and can order deep-dish Chicago pizza!”
The supermodel also pointed out the obvious: “Being happy, doing work that you love and being in a good place in your relationships all is important too.”
Of course, I couldn’t let her get away without asking about the wedding she attended of her and husband Rande Gerber’s BFF George Clooney and his now-wife, Amal.
“All I can say is it was every bit as glamorous as it looked in the photos you likely have seen. It was a true fairy tale wedding in every way. But the most important part had nothing to do with the setting or the gorgeous decor or the romance of Venice or all the cool people who were there. It was a pure lovefest. It was so great to be present for the wedding of two people who are so clearly, so deeply in love.”
• While in town, Crawford also made time to dine at Siena Tavern with famed photographer Nigel Barker. No deep-dish pizza at that meal, but the model was seen noshing on chef Fabio Viviani’s yummy gnocchi and sipped cocktails made with her husband’s tequila brand, Casamigos.