Kaia Gerber Wants To Make You Cry

Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images.
During the pandemic, in addition to working remotely and adopting a puppy, model Kaia Gerber channelled her energy into creating a book club on Instagram. (A year into quarantine, I ask, what is energy?)
Not only does the 19-year-old encourage her following to read along, but she also invites prominent authors and actors to join her in live-stream discussions, low-key creating the internet's favourite IG Live book club. In a new i-D feature, the magazine turned the tables and had the same authors interview Gerber about how books inspire her own art form, and what kind of novel she wants to eventually write.
Raven Leilani, author of this year's bestseller Luster, asked Gerber about her relationship with art. "The last piece of art that moved me was a book I read about Paris in the 50s called In the Cafe of Lost Youth by Patrick Modiano," Gerber replied. "I often find myself returning to literature in one form or another because it touches me in a place most other mediums have yet to. It quiets my mind and the world around me." She also added that books are what she uses to connect with others and to get to know someone new. "I almost always give someone I’m getting to know a book that has impacted me a lot and I always ask for a recommendation from them in return. I have found a language through literature that has helped shape some of my closest relationships," she said.
Trick Mirror author Jia Tolentino asked Gerber about her own unique point of view: that of a model. Tolentino pointed out that few books offer that perspective — Jennifer Egan’s great Look At Me was the only one she could think of. "The perspective of a model isn’t something commonly portrayed in the images we help to create, and I too have struggled to find my voice within the industry," Gerber replied. "I think an aspect of modeling that casual onlookers might not be able to perceive is all of the time spent behind the scenes to create an image. I see pictures that took so many creative minds, not to mention hours of flights, fittings and preparation to capture, being scrolled past as though they were the same as any iPhone picture. And, while I do think it’s incredible that everyone has the ability to capture a moment at their fingertips, I also believe it is important to differentiate between the two."
Considering Gerber's singular point of view and her voracious reading habit, it would seem fitting for the model to make her foray into writing. Would it be a semi-fictionalized insider's take on the modeling industry? A memoir? A complete fantasy? "I have no idea what my novel will be about, but I know I want to make people cry when reading it," she told Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists. "Crying over someone else’s troubles is the closest we can get to empathy and, I believe, one of the greatest gifts of literature."
After a depressing and stressful year, a good cry really is the one thing holding us all together. We're ready for that book whenever you are, Kaia.
Issue 362 of i-D, "The Utopia In Dystopia", is available here now.

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