Cindy Crawford decides modeling isn't all that super

November 22, 1992|By Genevieve Buck | Genevieve Buck,Chicago Tribune

Cindy Crawford comes right out and says it: "Modeling's just not my favorite gig anymore."

Pause.

"I really want to concentrate on the more challenging things."

Supermodel Crawford is on the car phone, heading for New York's LaGuardia airport and Los Angeles, where she'll do the "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno before going up to San Francisco to push some products.

She's finishing a conversation that started when she was in Chicago a few weeks ago taping "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Afterward, backstage, there was giggling, teasing with Mom, Grandma and sister Chris, then a Thai dinner before she headed for New York to do several TV shows promoting her exercise video.

Then it was to work in Europe. Now, back in the States after a whirlwind 10-cities-in-10-days trip -- Madrid, London, Munich, Paris among them -- doing personal appearances for Revlon Inc. and a runway stint for designers Dolce and Gabbana in Milan, she picks up the thread of that previous "what's next?" conversation.

Where do you want to be five years from now, Cindy?

"The one thing I feel most sure about is having kids by then," she says, without a moment's pause. Kids, of course, with her famous husband, Richard Gere.

Any news there? Nope, not yet. Forget the stuff in the gossip columns.

She strongly feels, too, that her career is headed for television and videos.

"I think that's what I'll be concentrating on, maybe even in the next year. I really like doing the television thing," she says, referring to her role as hostess of MTV's "House of Style," recent guest appearances on talk shows -- and more.

She's been talking with Fox, she says, about doing "a Barbara Walters for the '90s" sort of program. Ms. Crawford, however, says they are talking about focusing on young people's issues -- "issues that affect me and my friends. We've been discussing things. The next step is the nitty gritty" -- working out the format and the details -- she says.

Doug Herzog, senior vice president of MTV programming, says Ms. Crawford "is going to be a major personality on TV -- on MTV and possibly elsewhere. She's looking at opportunities that won't conflict" with MTV.

In five years, he forecasts, "She's going to be a force to be reckoned with. She has a great deal of intelligence and personality. Yes, she's drop-dead gorgeous," but, Mr. Herzog adds, in interviewing and on the air "she has such a friendly, casual way about her."

Mr. Herzog also points out that "she certainly can hold her own on both sides of the microphone," referring to her poise and popularity as a guest on shows such as NBC-TV's "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno and "Late Night with David Letterman."

Her exercise video, "Cindy Crawford -- Shape Your Body rTC Workout," which was released in late September, has spurred her to think about doing additional videos. She already has an idea for one -- not another exercise video -- which she can't talk about "because somebody else will pick up on it."

Ms. Crawford says she's proudest of the creative role she played in that video.

"It was my idea and I worked on it from start to finish and it was fun, too. I was the co-executive producer of it, hired everybody for it and put it together."

She says her reasoning behind doing the exercise video was simple: "The program helped me have more confidence about my body." Since she began working with her personal trainer, Radu, she says, "I am much stronger, much more toned. I feel better now about my body than I have in my whole life. I wanted to share that same kind of workout with people who can't afford a personal trainer. I also wanted to do a video that would be interesting to look at, like a music video is. We did some black and white, some color, very fast cutting, hip music. Not in a gym. Not like Cher's or Jane Fonda's."

And, just where does modeling fit into the five-year plan?

Modeling for Revlon will certainly still be part of her life.

Modeling in the strict sense -- doing runway shows, advertising photography -- is another thing. "I like it less and less. It's not the most important gig I have going. I don't have much time, and if I have to cut things out, they'll be the less challenging things."

"I don't know how she does everything she does," says Monique Pillard, president of Elite Model Management in New York, Ms. Crawford's agency, and the person who has guided Ms. Crawford's career.

Ms. Pillard claims that the MTV fashion specials and Pepsi commercials have played major roles in making Ms. Crawford a high-profile personality. "People see her as a person, sometimes even like a friend."

Designer Calvin Klein, who has used Ms. Crawford in his runway shows, says "she's more like a movie star now, she's a celebrity." He adds, "What I love about her as a model is that she can put on something mannish or sexy and carry it off with her own sense of style."

One thing Ms. Crawford won't be doing in the next five years is another calendar. She's skipping '94, and the '93 one out now could become a collector's item.

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