Kaia Gerber’s Dad Was a Model, Too


Mr. Gerber plans to funnel some of those riches into a start-up incubator, based in of the Malibu celebrity hang pad that serves as his office.

He rattled off some of the pitches he has received in his new role as a venture capitalist: “different app ideas, a coffee company, a milk delivery company.”

“There’s a lot of good ideas, some crazy ideas, and some that are not so good,” he said.

“He’s a model for ‘hard work pays off,’” Mr. Schrager said of his former protégé. “He was a kid from Queens, and he went on to marry a beautiful woman and have a beautiful family and great success. And it’s always nice when a nice guy does good.”

First Family of Supermodels

In the Gerber household, Sunday night home-cooked pizza is a family tradition, as is jumping into the pool whenever one of the brood comes home from a far-flung assignment.

But such homey get-togethers are becoming harder to organize, now that each member of the family has their own work schedule and jealously protective team of publicists, stylists, managers and other gatekeepers, whose job is to control and monetize their very lucrative time.


Kaia and Presley Gerber at Paper magazine’s “Beautiful People” party in New York in the fall. Credit Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times

That value shot up considerably last September, when Ms. Gerber made her runway debut at the Calvin Klein show, “instantly becoming,” in the words of Vogue, “the model of the moment.” She has since walked in shows for top international houses including Chanel (most recently for Wednesday’s couture collection), Fendi and Burberry; appeared on the February cover of Vogue Paris; announced a design collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld; and starred in ad campaigns for Versace and Marc Jacobs Beauty, among others.

While the media’s reaction to Ms. Gerber’s debut was frenzied (“Cindy Crawford’s mini-me” was a popular response), her preternaturally centered parents were unfazed by the celebri-bomb going off in their midst.

“I think we both wish they could have been a little older, but the world is different now, and Kaia wanted to do it,” Ms. Crawford said. “When she was 13 we said to her, ‘mmm, when you’re 16.’ And then, all of a sudden. …”

Presley Gerber, while not a superstar on his sister’s level (567,000 Instagram followers versus her 2.8 million), has nonetheless booked a string of campaigns, including Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein Jeans and Pepsi.

“Those kids have every reason in the world to be screwed up,” said Mr. Clooney, who has known them since birth. “They’re beautiful kids and they were born into fame and wealth. But Cindy and Rande were very aware of raising kids in Malibu, and how that can go horribly wrong. So they’ve been really hands-on parents.”

Ms. Crawford said that the name Kaia was inspired by a character in the 1988 fantasy film “Willow,” while Mr. Gerber said she was named for “Kaya,” the title track of a 1978 Bob Marley album (and slang for marijuana).

They did agree that the name Presley can be traced to a long-ago dinner with the Hollywood music producer David Foster, who was then married to Elvis Presley’s ex-girlfriend, Linda Thompson. Mr. Gerber recalled him asking, “Can you imagine being me, having to follow Presley?” For whatever reason, the name stuck.

When all four are together, fueled by the children’s Tigger-ish, teenage energy, the family comes across as a writhing puppy pile of mutual affection.

“He’s like the coolest person in the world,” Ms. Gerber said about her father. Her sophisticated all-black evening wear at the Omega party — stilettos, crystal-embroidered tulle skirt and low-cut, lacy top — was at odds with her 16-year-old hyperactivity, which fizzed out of her like a shaken-up soda bottle.

“He knows how to throw a party, which, I don’t even have friends who know how to throw a party this good,” she said.

Her brother said, “He’s a perfectionist and an all-around happy guy. He’s like my best friend.”

The Gerbers can sound a little corny, and that’s because they are. Nothing confounds a celebrity profile like a happy family. They are four golden figures that, even viewed up close, seem to be constantly dissolving into a Malibu sunset.

“When I meet people from my past, they’re not really shocked where my life has taken me,” Mr. Gerber said, clinking his Casamigos and ice, flanked by his wife and equally symmetrical daughter.

“Most people just figured I would have been successful,” he said, and shrugged.

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