BAZAAR talks to mother-daughter brand ambassadors for Omega, Cindy Crawford and Kaia Gerber, on being present, growing older and reminiscing on their supermodel moments
When it comes to brand ambassadors, loyalty doesn’t come easy. Brad Pitt was a TAG Heuer ambassador before moving on to Breitling. On the other hand, David Beckham was a Breitling ambassador for four years before switching to Tudor in 2017. Most recently, Zendaya joined Valentino as a brand ambassador in 2020 before being announced as the new ambassador for Louis Vuitton just three years later.
In contrast, Cindy Crawford, who turns 57 this year, could very well be the longest serving ambassador for any brand. The legendary supermodel has been an ambassador for Omega since 1995—if you do the math, it’s a partnership that is already nearing its 30-year anniversary. “And we never had a fight,” she says, “I can’t say the same for my husband.”
We are in New York to attend Planet Omega, the watchmaker’s week-long exhibition held at the Chelsea Factory on West 26th Street.The exhibition is a celebration of Omega’s rich heritage and innovation, where visitors are treated to museum-worthy timepieces straight from the brand’s archives as well as contemporary watches that continue to assert the Swiss watchmaker’s standing in the areas of space and ocean exploration,Olympics timekeeping, pop cultural relevance and fashion expression.
Cindy Crawford and her daughter and fellow ambassador, Kaia Gerber, are attending the exhibition as guests for a special panel discussion where they will talk about their shared experiences working with Omega. Prior to that evening, BAZAAR sits down with both women to talk about everything Omega, time and, naturally, fashion.
Our conversation with Cindy Crawford and Kaia Gerber:
WITH CINDY CRAWFORD
You once said that you’ve been with Omega longer than you’ve been married. What made you stay loyal to the brand?When I first started with Omega it was just a photoshoot, just a modelling job. But really the relationship started shortly after that they invited me to Milan for an event. And I think when I went and travel with Omega and really understood that everything they do is about quality, and it’s not just about the watch. It’s how they treated me, and all of you, and that’s really when we started working together.
Over the years (the partnership) truly feels like a family. I’ve been with them so long, from when I was single, then married, had kids, and now Kaia’s a part of it…even my husband and my son were in an Omega ad. The thing about Omega too, I love quality, I love the history of the brand, and so many unique things that they’ve been apart of, from the moon to James Bond. Also, their philanthropy—they’ve included Kaia and I for the Orbis International eye hospital in Peru. That was such an incredible trip. But I also got to ride an elephant, and go to the Olympics, so it’s really all over the map.
I think being with Omega for so long has been a very important partof my career in terms of international (exposure) because a lot of the things I do now are more North America-centric, but mega is truly a global brand. So they’ve been a big part of my career.
Have you ever had a discussion with Kaia about the passage of time?
I would say the conversations that we have about time are more about being present, and living in the moment. Because I think we live in such a busy society and everyone’s like, what’s next?, and everyone’s up on their phone and they’re not even necessarily living in the moment. I think my biggest message about time is don’t waste it and really try to be present.
What distinguishes Omega from other watch brands?
Their legacy and history, and of course quality and precision watchmaking, their innovation… but also the cool stuff such as the moon landing. Then for fashion, when I started with Omega I got involved with the relaunch of the Constellation, a women’s watch that is more about fashion as opposed to a timepiece. Even moreso now than ever, a watch is a statement piece:what does it say about me? So I think that is unique to Omega. And just look at their global presence but also their spokespeople. I think I’m the longest there—I was gonna say the oldest but George (Clooney) is older than me and he’s been with Omega almost25 years. And that says a lot about a brand. It means they are good partners.
What are your thoughts on getting older?
I always say that it’s better than the alternative, because if you’re not getting older then that means you’re not here anymore. Getting older—and I think for men too although certainly for women—it’s been something that we’re ashamed of or embarrassed of. But we can’t stop time, right? And I think social media, the media and our culture in general really puts pressure on youth. But I do feel that’s changing a tiny bit. I feel the more women own where they are…I’m not 25 now so why would I want to look 25 or act 25? You have to work on your own self-thought and not be hard on yourself, and to show up authentically as who you are today. That doesn’t mean that the past wasn’t great. But that also doesn’t mean that the future can’t be great. I’m really just trying to beat whatever stage I’m at in my life, to fully experience that stage and not trying to live in my past or worry about my future. To just be here now because we all know that that’s not a given. Especially when you look around the world today with all that’s been going on, being stressed out about a few wrinkles doesn’t seem that big of a deal.
Last year, you had a shoot with Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Linda Evagelista. How did it feel to do that again after so long?
Because of the documentary (The SuperModels on Apple TV+), I’ve been spending a lot more time with Christy, Linda andNaomi over the last three years. They’re like sisters. We have a shared history. None of my newer friends know what I was like as a 21-year-old girl in Paris, right? Those women remember what it was like as young women running from one fashion show to the next, the chaos of the fashion world, and the boyfriends…it’s fun reconnecting with them and reminiscing but also seeing how each one has evolved.We’re all mothers now, so we have something else now to connect with as well.
Walking fashion week is a big deal for a model. WhenKaia walked her first fashion week, do you rememberhow you felt? Were you more nervous or excited for her?
It’s funny because since she was little, Kaia liked to play dress up. She’d go into my closet and pull out my dresses, and I would do her make-up and play photoshoots with her friends—that’s what we’d do at my house. And she’s familiar with my work. But a fashion show is different. Her first show was Calvin Klein and I did not go. But I think it was her second show for Alexander Wang when she wore this white dress and came out of this bus with this walk, and I was like, ‘Okay, she’s already surpassed me. She knows what she’s doing so I don’t have to worry about Kaia.’It was fun to see her own that for herself on the runway. Because that’s the equivalent of an actor doing a Broadway show. A photoshoot is like doing a movie—you can get more than one shot at it. With a fashion show, there’s an adrenaline of the instance of the moment. Once I saw that show, I was never worried about her again.
WITH KAIA GERBER
Prior to being an Omega ambassador, were you a watch fan? And how has your relationship with Omega influenced your relationship with watches?
I feel like I was aware of watches and have been a fan of watches since I was born because of my mum’s long standing relationship with Omega. I’ve so many memories centred around experiences that I’ve had with Omega. At the Olympics in Beijing and Vancouver, and these wonderful trips that I’ve got to go on with my family. But I think my relationship with Omega has also given me an appreciation for the design of watches and how intricate they are. All the care that goes into it. I’m very interested in the mechanics of a watch. And even though we don’t need them for their intended purposes anymore, I just think there’s so much history behind them so it is something that has become very, very sentimental to me.
What role does a watch bring to your fashion?
A watch to me is a really great accessory. It’s so classic. To have something you can dress up with, I think it’s just really representative of our history.Women weren’t always allowed to wear watches so it’s really cool, to meat least, that when I put it on it reminds me of how far we’ve come. Now we can vote, we have a voice and we can run for president. Hopefully one day we’ll see a female (US) president. These little things that we take for granted that weren’t always available to us.
You are a model pursuing an acting career, and both of these worlds are known for inviting intense praise and intense criticism…
There are criticism? Hmm, I didn’t know that… (laughs)
Personally, how do you cope with all that?
I think however much value you put on one of them, you’re going to put that much value on the other one. So I think it’s really important to manage how personal you let the criticism get but also how personal you let the accolades and compliments get to you, because they will even each other out. Just keep your priority straight and remind yourself it’s so wonderful that you get to reach people you don’t know but also, how much do you care about the opinion of someone you’ve never metand has never met you? As I grow up, the comments on my character are the most important to me, and hopefully when someone meets me, those comments are good, for the most part (laughs).
Your favourite Omega watch and moment associated with the brand?
My first time working with Omega on my own was going to Berlin, for the Trésor. So I have a lot of fond memories around that watch. I even got to create a special band with Omega for the Trésor. And I just had this really wonderful cultural experience in Berlin then when I was 16and by myself. I was thinking, ‘I can’t believe that I’m here.’ So it was sort of like a sign of independence for me, growing up within Omega.
Do you have tips on how to manage a busy schedule?
I am punctual like my mum but she’s always five minutes early and I’m right on time so to her I am a late person. For me, trying to manage stress(by) taking deep breaths is a really big thing for me lately. I also have learned through trial and error that just because you can fit everything into a day physically doesn’t mean that you should. Leave time to take a moment for yourself and check in to see how you’re doing. Otherwise the days pass by so fast and you’re not being present. I feel so fortunate to have this job that I want to experience every moment of it. I don’twant to just be rushing off and going somewhere. I want each interaction to be very personal. So I try to slow down.
Here’s a bit of a rewind: going back to your very firstwalk for Fashion Week. What were you feeling then?
I was so nervous, oh my gosh! I was thinking, ‘I’m gonna black out, I’m scared, I’m gonna pass out, I don’t know how to do this…’ and they were saying, “Just walk like when you’re walking.” But when I’m walking no one’s looking at me and I’m not in these nice clothes that you made…am I supposed to be here? I was very nervous. I remember it very well, it was for Calvin Klein and I had just turned 16 a couple of days before then. And now I look at those pictures and I feel like such a baby in them. I see the kind of deer in headlights that I was and sometimes still feel like still. But I have a lot of love for that 16-year-old me that was terrified but did it anyway. I’m very proud of her for that (laughs).
Discover more about Omega here.