Modeling dynasties are having a major moment in the industry. Yolanda Hadid passed the torch to Gigi and Bella, Christie Brinkley and Sailor Brinkley Cook just had an epic modeling duet in Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit issue and Dolce & Gabbana enlisted a number of models from famous families for its fall show, all representing a new trend in fashion. And Real Housewives of Atlanta‘s Cynthia Bailey says her daughter, Noelle Robinson, may be the next up-and-comer, but first she’s passing down all her wisdom of the harsh realities on the modeling world.
“My thing as her parent and momager is that I’m here to support her. I can open doors for her. But I never want her to be delusional about the business because it is very specific,” Bailey tells PeopleStyle about her 17-year-old daughter embarking on a career in fashion.
The Real Housewives star says social media changed a lot about the industry since her start as a model when she was 18 years old, but she wants Robinson to be aware of everything that’s at stake.
“She’s definitely an influencer and she has a [social media] following but I always want her to keep in mind that because she is smaller, she’s definitely more of a petite model, to be realistic about how far she can go,” Bailey says.
She adds: “I’m not saying to her, ‘Noelle you’re going to be the next Naomi Campbell tomorrow.’ I’m not saying that, I’m just saying look, if you want to do this let’s try to go as far as you can with what you’re working it.”
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And no matter what happens, she looks at this experience as a great way for her daughter to gain confidence. “At the end of the day modeling is such a great way to build self-esteem,” Bailey says. “It’s a very social business, you’re working with new people every day. You just can’t be shy and be a model. It doesn’t matter if you have huge success, I think it’s a good thing for young talent who are still trying to find their way and their own identity.”
But one look at Robinson’s Instagram and you can see right away, that her mom passed down some photogenic genes — she’s already a total natural in front of the camera. Her page is filled with photo shoots, including a ton of snaps from her big campaign for Cargo, Bailey’s leather goods line.
Even though Bailey is still killing it in the modeling world (did you see her 50th birthday nude shoot?) she’s also the owner of a modeling school, an eyewear line, Cynthia Bailey Eyewear, and a leather goods collection, Cargo By CB.
Right now she’s working on expanding Cargo to include handbags and fanny packs, plus she’s discussing broadening her accessories empire with a hat and a watch line. “I thought the fashion accessories lane was something I could do well in and I wanted to help educate people on how to put it all together to develop their personal style.”
So if you’re looking to step up your own style with one of her chic and trusty bags, we asked her what five essential items she brings on every getaway so you can pack up your antique travel bag “Cynthia Bailey style.”
1. An extra outfit just in case you “go somewhere fabulous and you need to step it up.”
2. Extra underwear. (She suggests packing five extra pairs!)
3. She calls herself a “germaphobe” so hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes are a must.
4. She always travels with a blanket.
5. And of course, a phone charger is a no-brainer. “You won’t get far without that.”
And if you buy any new sunglasses this season, she highly recommends picking up two pairs of aviators — one in gold and silver. “Everyone should have them in gold or silver. Gold is if you want to be a little flashier. If you’re feeling yourself. And the silver ones are a little laid back.”
What items from her lines are you putting on your spring shopping wish list?