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hen Cindy Crawford was discovered in her hometown of DeKalb, Illinois, at 17, it came as a surprise both to her and to her family: “Girls in DeKalb didn’t dream of becoming models,” she says. “I think my dad actually thought model was another name for prostitute.” After sorting out any confusion, Crawford moved to New York, and the career that followed is one of the most legendary: more than 1,000 magazine covers worldwide, high-fashion advertising campaigns, long-running endorsement deals with some of the largest and most ubiquitous companies in the world (Revlon, Pepsi, Omega) and, of course, the title of original supermodel (joining other glamazons known by first names only: Naomi, Christy, Linda). At Café Habana in Malibu, Crawford is simply a local who lives a couple of miles down the road… albeit a local with connections (her husband of 15 years, Rande Gerber, whom she met at a wedding, owns the establishment, along with a collection of other bars and restaurants around the world). Now 47, Crawford is as radiant as ever. In a long gray cardigan, jeans and a cream-colored blouse, she is forthcoming about her years in the fashion business and the philosophy that guided her: “If we’re going to sleep together, then I want to get married,” she says figuratively of her client relations. “I’m investing in you and vice versa, and that’s been my approach to business.” This explains her long-standing contracts (she’s been an Omega watch ambassador for nearly two decades). After years of traveling between New York and their home in Brentwood, she and Gerber moved their family to Malibu shortly before their son, Presley, started kindergarten. “We had some friends who were here, and we really liked the way they lived,” she explains. “We kept saying to each other: ‘We think they have it right.’” Nearly 10 years have passed since their move to the beach, and Crawford can’t imagine living anyplace else. “Recently we contemplated traveling and home-schooling the kids. We brought the idea to them, but they both said if they could live anywhere, it would be here,” she says with a smile. “My son loves to surf. He won’t live anywhere there aren’t waves.” Fortunately for him, they recently built a second home in Cabo, where the waves are plentiful, as are the visits from their very next-door neighbor, George Clooney (they own adjoining properties, with separate houses). CONTINUED ON PAGE 184

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C Magazine, December 2013 - Cindy Crawford