Cindy Crawford on timeless luxury and modern modelling

By Rachel Ingram | 24 Oct 2018 | Culture, Style, Design

Tempus joins the supermodel and Omega ambassador in Shanghai to talk about the changing nature of the fashion industry

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* Omega ambassadors [l-r] Liu Shishi, Nicole Kidman, Cindy Crawford and Alessandra Ambrosio with president & CEO Raynald Aeschlimann

Cindy Crawford needs no introduction. One of the most iconic supermodels of all time, she was the face of the 1980s and 1990s, dominating magazine covers across the globe. Thirty years on from her first campaign, she continues to be an icon of timeless elegance and unstoppable glamour. This week, Crawford was in Shanghai for the global launch of Omega’s new Constellation ‘Manhattan’ collection, a beautiful line of women’s watches that bears special meaning for the supermodel.

Crawford has been an ambassador of Omega since 1995, making her the brand’s longest-reigning ambassador. She has a unique connection with the Constellation itself – she was part of the collection’s redesign in 1995 during which time she visited the design team in Switzerland to lend them her expert eye for style.

“I’ve now seen this collection evolve over the past several decades and I’m always impressed by Omega’s new designs. It’s such a classic watch, yet these new models prove just how relevant it remains today,” she said.

During the star-studded soiree at Shanghai’s Expo I–Pavilion on 23 October, where she was joined by fellow ambassadors Nicole Kidman and Alessandra Ambrosio, Crawford spoke to Tempus about the essence of timeless luxury and how she’s seen the luxury world change during her three decades in the industry.

How do you think the luxury fashion industry has changed in the years since you started modelling?
Now, streetwear is luxury, I think that’s the biggest change that I’ve seen. The luxury brands really haven’t changed that much – I see who Kaia is working for and they’re the same brands that I worked for 25 years ago – but this whole new streetwear scene and how the luxury brands have had to embrace streetwear, that’s been pretty interesting to watch.

How has the modelling industry itself developed?
I definitely think that modelling hasn’t really changed that much, but the actual act of modelling has. Take social media, having that is part of your job now. Sometimes I feel like the photo shoot is an excuse for a ‘behind-the-scenes’, especially for magazines as by the time it comes out, people have already seen a lot of the behind the scenes imagery, so the still images are so perfect but they’re almost irrelevant. It’s like people want to feel like they’re there more than they want to see the finished product. It’s interesting. >>

Related: Omega ambassador Nicole Kidman on the power of timekeeping

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* Model Cindy Crawford wears a timepiece from the new Omega Constellation 'Manhattan' collection

What impact do you think social media has had on the industry?
Having to be active on social media is like another job and I think that’s a lot of pressure, especially for some of these young girls. But I also see how my kids handle it, they grew up in the era of social media, so they’re more native speakers of it. I do think that social media is another level of responsibility but it’s also a great tool – for the first time, you really can be your own publicist.

How have you noticed the women’s luxury watch market change since you started working with Omega?
We all know that no one needs to wear a watch anymore. A watch used to be essential, especially if you were in Manhattan and you had a meeting, you had to look at your watch. Back then, you had a gigantic cell phone that looked like a brick. But now, no one needs a watch, so your watch is for your style, it’s an accessory. A watch is part of your personal fashion, it’s an expression of who you are.

What’s so special about Omega’s Constellation collection?
It’s the one that’s the most like a bracelet or a piece of jewellery. You can layer it, you can wear it with other things, it’s very feminine, you can go from day to night. Even though I have other Omega watches – sometimes I like to wear a Seamaster or a chunkier watch – the thing about the Constellation is it’s really timeless and it’s very feminine.

Read the full interview with Cindy Crawford in an upcoming edition of Tempus.

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* Omega ambassadors Liu Shishi, Cindy Crawford, Nicole Kidman, photographer Damon Baker and Alessandra Ambrosio