Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cindy Crawford Home Collection

May 16, 2008
Cindy showcases her "Cindy Crawford Home Collection" at Rooms To Go in Buckhead, Georgia.

Cindy Crawford: Furniture line has 'a lot of me in it'

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 05/16/08

Models don't retire; they diversify.

So it should come as a surprise to no one that supermodel Cindy Crawford designs a furniture collection for Rooms to Go. But when company CEO Jeffrey Seaman first approached her with the idea, Crawford's initial response was "Why me?"

Why not?

Long before model Heidi Klum filmed her first episode of "Project Runway" or Tyra Banks donned a fat suit for her daytime talk show, Crawford made the move to television as host of MTV's "House of Style" in 1989. Now she puts that fashion gene to more practical use. Since its launch in 2005, Cindy Crawford Home has released nearly 50 collections that include everything from living room sets to kids' furniture and accessories.

Crawford, interviewed from her home in Malibu, Calif., will stop in Atlanta at 11 a.m. May 17 to sign autographs at the Rooms to Go at Mall of Georgia. Atlanta serves as the executive headquarters for the Florida-based Rooms to Go.

Q: How did you connect with Rooms to Go?

A: Jeffrey Seaman was thinking about doing something different when he ran across my picture in a magazine and said, "Yeah, let's get Cindy Crawford."

I wasn't familiar with Rooms to Go. It's huge in the Southeast, but if you're not from the Southeast you haven't heard of it. ... We met at a Rooms to Go in Dallas — halfway for both of us. Once I got into the store I was sold.

He helped me get over looking at myself as only a model. He said, "Cindy, you have style and that translates to other areas of your life."

Q: Are you very involved in the design process?

A: It started out with a design team from Rooms to Go coming to my home in Malibu. I walked them through the house.

I wanted them to get a sense of who I was and how I liked to live. I pointed out what I liked. My husband [nightclub owner Rande Gerber] and I love to read design magazines. We love traveling. I'd tell the designers, "Use this finish" or "Try this color." Then the real designers would go do their thing and present to me.

At that point I think I'm very effective as an editor. ...

I see the product at every stage, from the drawings to the fabric swatches. I look at the wood finish, the samples, and then the finished products. ... With 20-plus years of experience, I'm valuable with the marketing. I'm good at working on scripts for commercials and picking photographers. ... It's my furniture line. It has to have a lot of me in it.

Q: Where do you get inspiration for your designs?

A: The fact that I'm a mother influences a lot. I constantly ask questions like "Is it washable? Is someone going to get hurt on it? Is it good quality?" You have to ask, "Does it fit with my decorating taste?"

A race-car bed is nice and the kids want it, but I don't want it in my house. Hopefully my child won't be going to therapy because I never got him a race-car bed. I wanted the frame of their bedroom to be something that they wouldn't get sick of in one or two years.

Q: What's hot in fabrics and furniture styles?

A: We're looking to use color, but on more traditional frames. Even some of our very successful leather pieces we are doing in burnt tangerine and raspberry. ... Also, I love fabrics that look great and feel great but are durable.

Q: Your husband is opening Whiskey Park at the W Atlanta Midtown. Have you offered any design tips?

A: We both really respect each other's opinion. I'll show him designs and he'll do the same for me. But it's nothis first time at the rodeo. ... [Whiskey Park] is super sexy. It's Versace meets hip-hop, and it's really cool. I'll be there for [the official opening night on] my 10th wedding anniversary on May 29.

Q: You and other models have moved on to other pursuits. How do you feel about the idea of model as mogul?

A: I just think we're the lucky ones who were able to take advantage of opportunities before us. But you also have to be a little bit fearless. ...

And I'm not the 25-year-old model that I was, I'm a 42-year-old mother of two. It makes sense that I'm talking about homes.

I've let the things I'm passionate about in life translate to my work, and customers are smart enough to know when you're authentic.

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