First things first, she’s adopted puppies, secondly, she’s given herself DIY highlights
When I catch up with Kaia Gerber she is in the middle of bottle-feeding a puppy. “I’ve been fostering a lot of puppies! I literally feel like Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids where she has like nine puppies,” she laughs. Working closely with the Labelle Foundation, a Los Angeles-based organisation dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating dogs, Kaia has been helping to take in puppies who don’t have homes, something that has been keeping her sane while social distancing. “It gives me something to do all day, a reason to wake up, a sense of responsibility,” she says. “It’s almost more therapeutic for the people.”
It sounds dreamy. The model and now puppy foster mother is calling from her home in Malibu, where she is isolating, to talk about her new campaign for Daisy Marc Jacobs which she has been the face of for the past three years. It was a natural fit, she says, since she’s been wearing the fragrance since she was 13. “I don’t like super strong scents that’s why I really like Daisy because it doesn’t overpower you. I don’t want people to feel when they hug me ‘oh she’s wearing perfume,’ it’s just, ‘oh she smells good,’” she says.
A nostalgic fragrance for her, Daisy reminds Kaia of growing up as well as the time spent working with Marc Jacobs on the campaigns. “I’ve had so many good memories, shooting the campaigns in the most beautiful locations with such a lovely team of people and such great girls that do it with me. When I put it on it brings me back to shooting in the incredible fields,” she says. Growing up in Malibu, surrounded by nature and beaches, instilled in Kaia a love of natural, floral scents, particularly jasmine, but it’s always been her mum who evoked the strongest emotions around smell. “My earliest scent memory is probably just the smell of my mum,” she says. “I would nuzzle into her and I remember whenever she would go on trips she would leave a scarf or something that smelled like her. It made me realise how powerful a smell can be.”
When she’s not looking after her growing puppy brood, Kaia has been keeping busy doing workouts and also running the book club that she recently founded, something she says she’s always wanted to do. “I thought now was kind of the perfect time because we’re all very isolated and I wanted to do something that made people feel brought together in some kind of way even if it’s just virtually,” she explains. Opening the club last week with Sally Rooney’s Normal People, this week’s book Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan about a teenage girl on vacation with her father is a favourite of Kaia’s and one which she feels is particularly resonant to our current times. “It’s all kind of set in the same house and just follows her routine there as she studies and reads by herself,” she explains. Other favourites include the book that made her fall in love with reading all over again, Albert Camus’s The Stranger, and Just Kids by Patti Smith which she read when first moving to New York. “I fell in love with Patti and Robert (Mapplethorpe). It made New York what it is for me.”
Kaia has also been trying not to succumb to the temptation of making drastic hair changes, a phenomenon that seems to have taken hold of many of us in isolation, although she did highlight her own hair. “I’ve been very sensible!” she laughs. “So far I’ve done highlights which...I don't know if I'd recommend doing at-home highlights but I knew I had to do something even the most subtle thing so I gave myself at home highlights.” Other than that she’s been dedicating more time to her skincare routine and giving her skin a rest from the endless heavy make-up of fashion week. “Coming out of shows where you're getting your make-up done three, four times a day and getting it taken off can be pretty damaging for your skin so I think giving my skin time to breathe has been the most beneficial thing.”