Model Daughters Who Followed In Their Moms' Footsteps

Growing up in the shadow of a famous parent can't be easy. On the other hand, it can provide a steady launching pad — studded with expert tips and tricks of the trade — for the celebrity child who wants to uphold their ancestral legacy. For the daughters of several supermodels who amassed frenzied fame and star power at the height of their careers, catwalking in their mothers' footsteps was a near no-brainer. For Lily-Rose Depp, for instance, having entertainment heavyweights Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis as parents, opened the doors wide open for her to discover a career similar to theirs. Though it comes with its own insecurities and pressures to fill big shoes.  


As the rising model and actor told i-D magazine, looking at old pictures of her supermodel mom prompted Lily-Rose to say: "You're so much prettier than me." Paradis, meanwhile, assured her: "We're twins." The daughters of supermodels who take on the family business of fashion often come tagged with a "nepo-baby" status for the privilege they come from. They walk down runways with heavy legacies and a lifetime of inspiration on their shoulders. It's a complex situation — and one that many up-and-coming models haven't shied away from addressing. Here are some of the most famous model daughters who followed in their moms' footsteps.

Lila Grace Moss Hack

Kate Moss was, inarguably, one of the biggest things that happened to the modeling world in the 1990s. Through her association with Calvin Klein — in particular, an iconic ad shoot from 1992 that showed her topless and straddling Mark Wahlberg — Kate catapulted to meteoric fame, going on to work with the most elite brands and nearly every fashion magazine of note. In a serendipitous stroke of life coming full circle, Kate's daughter Lila Grace Moss Hack joined showbiz and three decades after her "heroin chic" mom, landing a partnership in 2022 with Calvin Klein. Among her most convention-bending moments was her appearance at the Milan Fashion Week, where she walked the ramp with an insulin pump in tow.


Kate, who saw the pitfalls of fame and fashion up close, was ambivalent about her daughter joining the industry — and with good reason. Though her Calvin Klein campaigns are time-tested and legendary, Kate hasn't spoken too fondly about her topless photoshoot as a teenager. In fact, she told Vanity Fair she regretted the campaign and that she was a bundle of nerves through it: "It didn't feel like me at all." Her experiences qualified her to lend sound advice to her daughter, whom she had with Jefferson Hack, about only picking projects she was comfortable with. As Kate told BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, "I've said to her you don't have to do anything you don't want to do." 

Anna Cleveland

When Pat Cleveland emerged on the modeling scene in the 1960s, everyone sat up and took note. They were looking at a woman who would be instrumental in challenging the norms of mainstream white beauty and making her way to the top in breach of racial barriers. "I lost plenty of jobs because I didn't have the conventional all-American looks that higher-ups at fashion magazines considered pretty," she told Teen Vogue. Undeterred, Pat was audacious enough to even pick a bone with the foremost fashion authority Vogue, which claims to have discovered her in 1966. She gracefully exited the American sphere of modeling for Paris with a pledge that she would return to her homeland when US Vogue broadened its scope and had a Black model pose for the cover. 


Vogue has since not only featured Pat multiple times but also her daughter Anna, who is carrying her famous mom's pathbreaking modeling legacy forward. Though she has been in front of the camera since she was merely 2 — and has walked the ramp for greats like Karl Lagerfeld alongside her mom as a teen — Anna is not immune to the pressures of the showbiz status enjoyed by Pat, who is remembered best for her collaborations with some of the greatest artistic acts in history, including Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol. "In many ways, it's been harder for me in this business because I have to distinguish myself," she told Vogue

Kaia Gerber

"If I could call and book a Chanel campaign, it would be for me and not you." That's what Cindy Crawford said to her daughter when she joined the modeling industry, Kaia Gerber told Elle. Of course, given that she is globally regarded as one of the biggest supermodels in history, one is drawn to be skeptical about the fact that Crawford would have to exert too hard to have brands lining up at her door. Her dazzling megawatt smile and an overhanging beauty mark made Crawford stand out in the five-member clique on British Vogue's iconic 1990 cover that manifested the concept of supermodels like never before. 


Forbes once named Crawford the richest supermodel in the world, highlighting her volcanic fame and $225 million net worth. That, and the fact that Crawford still loftily stands as a formidable force in the industry, would have to definitely ensure some degree of advantage for her daughter. Kaia, who herself has emerged as one of the top models in the young league, hasn't denied her privilege and admitted to amassing great industry knowledge from her mom — and, we trust, some from her model dad Rande Gerber, too. But she has also been emphatic about nepotism not opening every door, always. As she told Elle: "No artist is going to sacrifice their vision for someone's kid." 

Georgia May Jagger

Georgia May Jagger's life is preceded by the gigantic legacies of not one, but two famous parents: music icon Mick Jagger and modeling icon Jerry Hall. The young beauty queen chose her mother's footsteps to follow. She was only in her mid-teens when Georgia seriously turned to modeling, with dreams of evolving into a multifarious role in the fashion world as a designer and photographer. In climbing up toward her ambitions, she landed runway gigs with the biggest names in fashion, from Chanel to Versace, with her standout association being with Rimmel. Her ever-growing fame didn't stop her from looking up to her mother, a leading light in the modeling world. 


Much like her daughter would many years later, Jerry started modeling as a teenager and soon became the top choice across entertainment avenues, from haut monde ramps to album covers. Her romance with the Rolling Stones frontman contributed greatly towards the phenomenon Jerry was, though she was equally (if not more) esteemed for her sophisticated style sensibilities — something she still aces as an old hand in showbiz. Georgia gushed to Grazia, "She can get ready in 20 minutes flat ... a full head of curlers, makeup, everything." That's some supermodel superpower.

Leni Olumi Klum

By the time the 1990s came to a close, the modeling industry had found a new showstopper: Heidi Klum. The German-born sensation had worked through the decade to get to where she was, but once she did, she quickly established herself as a model worth looking out for. She clinched an era-defining deal with Victoria's Secret in 1997, kickstarting one of the longest associations the lingerie brand has had with any Angel ever. From Sports Illustrated to Harper's Bazaar, Heidi endlessly graced the cover of top fashion magazines as a solo star, until she was joined by a special someone in 2021. 


Leni Olumi Klum flanked her mother on the cover of Vogue Germany, marking her modeling debut — a moment Heidi preserved on Instagram, with a heartfelt caption that read: "You ain't no mini-me and I'm happy for you that you can now show who YOU are." From being prohibited from a modeling gig at 12 by her mom to walking in her footsteps, Leni has sure come a long way. But what Heidi is happiest about are her daughter's multifaceted passions. "I'm very proud of my daughter and her modeling. And she's studying at the same time, she's juggling already," she told People

Lily-Rose Depp

Lily-Rose Depp is a standalone talent in showbiz. Her features, though, unmistakably reflect her celebrated pedigree; she is the daughter of megastars Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis. While Lily-Rose is on the road to finding mainstream success as an actor like her father, her induction into the fashion world seems to have been her supermodel singer mother's doing. "I've always loved putting on a show since I was a little girl. I used to dress up and dance around," she told i-D magazine. Thanks to Paradis' reach in modeling, Lily-Rose's childhood consisted of meetings with fashion authorities like Karl Lagerfeld and she eventually followed on the heels of her French mother whose outstanding singing career was complemented by her stint as a prominent model. 


In the 1990s, under Lagerfeld's aegis, Paradis became part of the Chanel family — a legacy her daughter shouldered in 2015 when, like her mom, the teen was handpicked to become an ambassador for the luxury fashion house. Her 2023 television show "The Idol" is being touted as a career-making project for Lily-Rose, who entered the industry not too long ago but has already managed to ruffle feathers. In an interview with Elle, she weighed in on her star kid status – "It's weird to me to reduce somebody to the idea that they're only there because it's a generational thing" — that didn't sit too well with many of her contemporaries who were more cognizant of nepotism than Lily-Rose seemed to have been. 


Aoki Lee Simmons

Before she became a reality television sensation, Kimora Lee Simmons was one of the biggest names in fashion. As she once said in Coveteur, she was no "Cindy Crawford, the 'All-American girl' apple pie." But she evidently had the oomph factor to land gigs with the most distinguished brands, from the United States all the way to Paris. At only 13, she was rubbing shoulders with the likes of fashion seniors like Naomi Campbell, who went on to become one of the most revered supermodels of all time. Not unlike Naomi, Kimora too, carved her way through the notoriously limiting beauty industry with her multiethnic identity. 


As she graduated from milestone to milestone — setting off on an entrepreneurial journey with Baby Phat and a television series on her life — Kimora also became a mother, welcoming daughters Ming and Aoki Lee Simmons with ex-husband Russell Simmons. Aoki, who is headlining the act of the fashion-forward siblings, is proudly walking down the modeling road like her mom, representing top designers like Kerby Jean-Raymond — all while taking classes at Harvard on the side. Though Aoki faced a spot of criticism online for pursuing both lanes, mama Kimora couldn't be prouder. As the supermodel told People, "We love an educated clumsy queen." 

Ireland Baldwin

Ireland Baldwin, admittedly, has a significant chunk of her modeling fame to attribute to her parents' popularity. The daughter of actors Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, during an appearance on "Red Table Talk," revealed that her celebrity kid status led to her discovery as a model but had its downsides. "Facing the criticism and the comparisons, and then that anxiety for me is like extremely toxic." It couldn't have been easy for Ireland, who was already grappling with body image issues at the time she stepped into modeling at 17. 


She found a steady idol in her mom, who, during her youth, was one of the most recognized faces in the fashion world and has been open about her own struggles with anxiety. Though she was a fixture on fashion magazine covers for several years together, Basinger eventually bowed out of the game and moved on to greener pastures in Hollywood, where she racked up award after award, including an Oscar for "L.A. Confidential." 

As for Ireland, her portfolio came to boast brands like Guess and PETA, with both mother-daughter doing nude photoshoots (separated by two decades) for the latter. About her daughter's modeling career, Basinger told Vanity Fair, "I think she wanted to stick her foot in and see what it would bring. And she's doing extremely well."


Lily McMenamy

Lily McMenamy was born with it. As the daughter of the legendary convention-bending Kristen McMenamy, she has all it takes to mesmerize fans and patrons of fashion with her presence in the industry. It's the protraction of a legacy that belongs to her mom who, in her heyday, was at the top of the game; not simply as it relates to modeling but also as far as challenging mainstream gendered beauty norms are concerned. She posed and walked her way through important magazines and ramps in the 1980s and 90s, always with her edgy style and arresting looks (defined, most distinctly, by her flowing peroxide locks and slender frame). "I don't think I was specially phenomenal-looking because I wasn't. I had to work a little bit harder than the others," she told Perfect magazine.


When Kristen's mini-me came along, her stardom was somewhat imminent. Lily frequented fashion's biggest platforms with her famous mom before she came onto the scene as a high-demand modeling talent. From Balmain to Fendi, Lily has represented A-level brands in her decade-long career with two qualities her mother is most proud of: "Her eccentricity. Her bravery," Kristen told i-D magazine during a cover shoot also featuring her daughter. Her 2013 runway appearance for Marc Jacobs was a career highlight, with Lily unforgettably strutting down the ramp in nothing but shorts and long gloves. 

Sailor Brinkley Cook

Christie Brinkley has been an ageless presence in showbiz since 1973 when she was discovered on the streets of Paris in a stroke of good luck ... for the modeling industry. Though she claimed she "never looked like a model," as expressed to the New York magazine, she hit the ground running when her career began. The fashion world was taken with her effervescent charm and Christie soon became a ubiquitous presence in the industry, splashed across magazine pinups and covers. She was most memorably a popular face in the swimsuit issues of the widely-circulated Sports Illustrated, a legacy her daughter would shoulder years later in 2017 when she made her debut for the magazine. 


Together with her iconic supermodel mom, Sailor Brinkley-Cook posed amid tropical settings for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, seeing the moment less as a burden and more as an opportunity to live up to Christie's popularity. "It is such a legacy that it is intimidating, but we're so different and it's so sick that I get to work in the same way she did," she told the magazine. 

The mother-daughter duo that has near about established a stronghold over the swimsuit sphere doesn't simply exchange modeling tips but also wardrobes. Though Christie is in her late 60s, her style quotient is flaming hot and appeals greatly to her millennial daughter, who borrows generously from the beauty queen's closet: "She's definitely got those classic pieces, and I always love everything she has," Sailor told People


Gigi Hadid

Hadid is a brand name in the fashion world. The legacy goes back to the 1980s when Yolanda Hadid — who, per her own admission to W magazine, had "never seen a fashion magazine" — got a kickstart as a model. With her signature blonde locks and sharp jawline in tow, Yolanda catwalked her way across fashion ramps and magazine covers. For a long time, Yolanda bore the flag of the Hadid family title in the modeling business, that is until she passed it on to her daughter Gigi Hadid. Gigi, easily one of the biggest phenomena in showbiz in recent times, was in a way born a model. Her first assignment was as a toothy, bandana-toting 2-year-old star campaigner for Baby Guess.


After a brief interlude, brought on by Yolanda's insistence that she should only become a full-time model at 18, Gigi returned to the industry — and how. She worked her way up the ladder, becoming one of the highest-paid models in the world (along with her sister, Bella Hadid who is also a prominent model) and gracing endless brands with her star power — from Maybelline to Versace, and, of course, her home ground Guess. Though her daughters have surpassed her in modeling fame, Yolanda has much wisdom to impart to them. One of the most important, as repeated to ET Online, is: "Be kind, because people don't remember what you look like but they will remember how you make them feel." 

Grace Burns

When British Vogue came out with its era-making 1990 cover, an ovate face staring out from the coterie of supermodels was an immediate stunner. Christy Turlington had already been modeling for a few years by then, having started at the young age of 15 and becoming a sensation early in her career. She was pursued by the crème de la crème of fashion, her association with Calvin Klein standing out most gloriously. "I chose her early on when she was very young because I thought she represented quality and intelligence," the fashion line's head honcho told The Telegraph. Turlington's camera-facing elegance would be mirrored years later by her daughter Grace Burns, whom she shares with actor Edward Burns.


Though her mom got an earlier head start in modeling, Grace too, followed suit and entered the industry during her teen years. She has modeled for multiple magazines, but her most special project to date remains a Carolina Herrera shoot she did with Turlington in 2023. The mother-daughter duo stood shoulder to shoulder in matching outfits, looking dapper as horseback riders. While Turlington herself expressed mixed emotions about her industry — "I never thought modeling was cool," she told The Telegraph — she seems to trust Grace to choose the right path for herself. "She doesn't seem to be interested in superficiality," the supermodel told W magazine

Maya Hawke

Uma Thurman's magnificent, award-glittering filmography is what claims the limelight in her legacy. It often leads one to overlook the actor's accomplished modeling stint, which, if short, was definitively remarkable. As her own daughter would decades later, Thurman followed in the footsteps of her mother, Nena von Schlebrügge, and dipped her pretty feet into modeling as a teenager. Vogue was one of the starting points for both mother and daughter but for Thurman, modeling also became the launching pad for her career in films. By the time she was 18, Thurman had starred in "Dangerous Liaisons" and then "Pulp Fiction" happened, and eventually "Kill Bill" and ... you know how it went. 


Upholding the unbroken legacy of the women in her family, Maya Hawke too, marked her entry into showbiz as a third-generation Vogue muse in 2017. That was also the year Maya honored the acting heritage that came from her famous mom (and dad Ethan Hawke) by making her screen debut in the television series "Little Women." While further screen jobs like "Stranger Things" got Maya mainstream fame, the young star seemed sufficiently secure in her profession as a model, too. After her notable Calvin Klein campaign from 2022, in which the millennial star was likened to supermodel Kate Moss, Maya told Harper's Bazaar the mantra she followed for her gigs: "You just have to try to be yourself and see what lasts." 


Grier Hammond Henchy

Few models have started as early as Brooke Shields did. At only 11 months, the future sensation had begun crawling her way to stardom with an advert for Ivory soap. Recalling the casting moment that would affect the rest of her life's trajectory, she told The New Yorker, "I had already had my nap, so I was in a good mood, whereas all the other kids were crying and angry and sad and tired, so I got the part. That's where it all began." At par with her success as a child model was the fame she eventually attained as a child star, thanks to her breakout role in the 1978 film "Pretty Baby." 


Though her film and television work dominated her career, Shields collected many impressive credits in modeling — among them being her Vogue cover at age 14, the youngest ever for the magazine. It was, therefore, understandably heartwarming for Shields to see her daughter Grier Hammond Henchy follow in her footsteps. The pair notably appeared in a Mother's Day campaign for Victoria's Secret in 2022; Shields told People, "it was just such an emotionally beautiful period." However, the modeling veteran did have to rein herself in from stage managing her daughter too much. Shields shares Grier with screenwriter Chris Henchy.