Photo by Michael Simon/startraksphoto.com

7 Minutes With Cindy Crawford

The original supermodel talks turning 50, her new book, and how Dallas dresses.

As one of the most iconic faces in the fashion industry, Cindy Crawford understands what it takes to become timeless. But the journey there is multi-faceted, as she shares in her recently released book, Becoming.

Crawford, who was in Dallas on Friday promoting the book, held signings at FortyFiveTen and Barnes & Noble’s Lincoln Park location. Becoming, a 248-page hybrid of a memoir and a coffee table book, shares stories–and lessons–from Crawford’s life and career ahead of her 50th birthday. The idea for the book was born from lingering thoughts and realizations Crawford had experienced in one of Oprah’s lifeclasses. With the urging of her publicist and longtime associate and Becoming co-author Katherine O’Leary, they created a concept for the book: 50 iconic images coupled with 50 personal essays to celebrate turning 50. “It was great because 50 was coming whether I wanted it to or not,” Crawford said. “And it was a way to embrace it.”

Before stopping at Dallas’ Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Crawford appeared in New York City, London, Miami, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Over a cappuccino, Crawford talked about the journey to Becoming, the importance of authenticity, and her admiration of Dallas women’s style.

Cindy Crawford's "Becoming"
Cindy Crawford’s “Becoming”

Did you learn anything new about yourself during this writing process for Becoming?

One thing I learned was that I’m still learning. [With the book], at a certain point you can’t add or change, you can’t move a comma. And even since, some things have happened that I thought, “Oh, I wish we would have been able to get that in the book.” I think that the real lesson is that it is continuous, and that’s why I like the word “becoming” because there’s no ending to it. It’s still happening.

If you could give your daughter one piece of advice, what would it be?

I mean, it’s impossible! But I think the two [pieces] are: be a responsible, kind human being, but also trust your own instincts because no one knows what’s right for me better than me. And it does take time to believe that for women, especially when you’re young. You think that other people know more than you, and you give your power away. And hopefully, that is the gift that comes with age. You start realizing, “You know, no. I’m going to dress for me.” Or “I do this because I like to do it. Not because I should or someone thinks I should, or because it’s cool. This is who I am.”

What would you tell young women who are looking to build a brand for themselves, despite their industry?

It’s interesting because, when I was a young model, no one talked about brand building. It didn’t exist. And, somehow, I was able to do that without really having any kind of road map or plan. I think what has been the most important part of that is being authentic. I think people respond to that. My first project outside of modeling was my exercise video, but that was very organic to who I was. If I got offered a cigarette campaign, I thought, “That doesn’t go with my healthy image. Why would I do that?” […] If you look at yourself as kind of a brand, what are you trying to say? What are your three buzz words? Who are you trying to reach? Who are you talking to? Who you’re selling to should also be you. You should want to buy what you’re selling. And I think that’s where the authenticity comes into play.

Obviously, you’ve been around the world. In your time in Dallas, what have you noticed about Dallas women and their style that sets them apart from women in other places?

[As I was signing books at FortyFiveTen, I noticed that women here really dress.] I could do some serious damage in there! That’s a beautiful store, and I was envious that I was signing books and people were shopping. […] These women dress! […] As much as I’ve been around clothes, that’s not one of my obsessions–even though I notice when other women do, and I’m like, “Wow, they put themselves together.” These women dress, and every single person here who I’ve met, they love living in Dallas. Sometimes, people put down where they live, but every single woman last night was so happy! Those were the two things that struck me.

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