Sammy Nickalls
July 09, 2015 5:30 am

Kaia Gerber’s lovely face may be familiar to you. After all, she’s the daughter of the modeling legend Cindy Crawford, and man, do they look alike. And now, you’ll probably be seeing her way more often.

At just 13, Kaia has just hit a major milestone moment in the modeling world: she’s been shot by Vogue Italia‘s Steven Meisel. She’s also officially signed a contract with top agency IMG Models.

“Now representing: @KaiaGerber,” the agency wrote on their Instagram, alongside a shot of the young model. “Welcome to the family!”

Kaia is totally blown away by the experience, calling her Vogue Italia shoot with Meisel “unreal” on her Instagram. (Have we mentioned that she already has over 100,000 Instagram followers?)

Initially, mom Cindy had wanted Kaia to take it slow, as Kaia explained to Teen Vogue. “She doesn’t want me to start a career too young,” Kaia told the mag late last year. “She started modeling when she was 16, but that world is very different now.”

Needless to say, Kaia started young—too young, according to her mom back in 2012.  At just 10 years of age, she landed her first campaign with Versace, modeling for the brand’s kids line.

“Like her mother, Kaia has a very special gift. The camera really, really loves her,” Donatella Versace said in a statement in 2012. “Having Cindy on-set for the shoot took me back to all the amazing Avedon shoots we worked on together. It was such a special treat watching Kaia walk in her mother’s footsteps.”

But soon after the campaign made headlines, Crawford pulled her daughter out of the spotlight, stating, according to ABC News, “At this point, she’s too young to pursue a career.  There aren’t even a handful of jobs for a 10-year-old girl.” She did leave the door open, however, for future endeavors.

“If she’s 17 and wants to try it, of course, what can I say?” Crawford added at the time.

Three years later, at just 13, Kaia is back, this time in the glossy pages of fashion’s hallowed ‘bible.’

Kaia joins the ranks of other very young models, like Thylane Blondeau, now 14, who got her start in Paris Vogue at 10. More recently, Marc Jacobs introduced 9-year-old muse Betty Lowe in his latest campaign. There is no question these girls possess poise, but how young is too young to pose in women’s clothes? While fashion has long been known to scout young talent, it’s worth considering whether girls who are still developing should serve as representations of adult female beauty. It’s concerning both from the perspective of romanticizing young subjects for adult consumers, and from the perspective of women who want to see their own figures reflected in magazines in order to promote more realistic beauty standards.

Despite raised eyebrows and Cindy’s own 7-year postponement plan for her daughter, she’s now supporting Kaia’s endeavor—and no doubt, serving as an amazing guidepost as she embarks on a career in the fashion business.

“I had a great experience, so I wouldn’t tell her, ‘I’m not letting you do that.’ That’s hypocritical.” Cindy explained to Style this past February. 

Judging from an Instagram post she shared on Wednesday, Cindy is getting behind her daughter’s inevitable rise to success.

Though the post received 11,000 likes, it also became a hotbed of debate over the mature way Kaia is represented in Meisel’s photo. One commenter called it “inappropriate” while others came to Crawford’s defense as a mom.

If anyone has her mom’s back, it’s Kaia, who shared this sweet throwback shot for Mother’s Day. In it she wrote, “Thank you for all you do… including giving me the haircut I’m rocking in this photo.” You can’t deny, style runs in the family.

(Images via Instagram)

Related:

Meet Marc Jacob’s newest model. She’s 9.

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