At 18, Kaia Gerber has already built a career most models can only dream of. She has landed several Vogue covers, fronted campaigns for Chanel and Versace, collaborated with Karl Lagerfeld and Jimmy Choo, and won Model of the Year at the 2018 Fashion Awards. Oh, and she counts Naomi Campbell as her supermodel godmother — on top of having Cindy Crawford as a mom.

Yet despite her star status in the fashion industry, Kaia Gerber doesn’t dress up the way you’d think a supermodel in the making would. In fact, she loves to dress down. In street style snaps of her at Fashion Week and her hometown Malibu, Kaia tends to cut a cool figure in a casual ensemble of jeans and sneakers. More than her genes, it’s that relaxed attitude that she has towards style that makes her all the more of an It-girl.

Kaia also has her style down to a formula, one that we broke down below. The brilliance of it is that it’s easy to pull off; you’re not exactly working with the risqué leather outfits of Bella Hadid, or the flashy Instagram fashion labels that Kendall Jenner often favours. The only rule is to not try too hard — Kaia wouldn’t.

Boxy jackets over everything

Kaia Gerber at Milan Fashion Week 2020 (Photo credit: Backgrid)
Kaia Gerber at Milan Fashion Week 2020 (Photo credit: Backgrid)

Maybe it has to do with the fact that her mother reigned the catwalks in the 1980s, but Kaia is very attached to the era’s most powerful garment: the oversized blazer jacket, shoulder pads and all. Her blazers of choice tend to come in neutral hues, check patterns or pinstripes — nothing too fancy. To balance the jackets’ loose-fitting silhouette and to keep them from looking stuffy, Kaia tends to pair them with slim trousers and a white tank top.

Shop the look: This houndstooth jacket by Givenchy takes away the stuffiness of the garment by being collarless, while the olive green hues of this houndstooth Ganni blazer makes it easy to style with other garments.

Beat the sun in tank tops

Kaia Gerber (Photo credit: Getty Images)
(Photo credit: Getty Images)

Living in sun-soaked Malibu has left an indelible mark on Kaia’s wardrobe, mostly in the form of tank tops. Even when she’s in New York for Fashion Week, you’ll see her sporting a plain one in white or black, or an equally casual crop top. These are usually worn under her favourite jackets, or just as is with a pair of bootcut jeans for a very Nineties ensemble.

Shop the look: Nobody does tank tops better than Helmut Lang, and this ribbed one would be approved by both Kaia and Dua Lipa. If you’re looking for something edgier, try an asymmetric top instead.

Dress down in denim jeans

Kaia Gerber (Photo credit: Getty Images)
(Photo credit: Getty Images)

If you’re blessed with supermodel legs like Kaia, you’d flaunt them just as much as she does in an array of jeans. She tends to go for high-rise and slim-leg styles that all the more accentuate her height. She also keeps it classic, opting for the all-American blue jeans over the grey or black pairs sported frequently by Bella and Kendall. Wear it with one of the blazers above and you’ll have yourself the definition of smart casual outfit.

Shop the look: Maison Margiela’s blue jeans puts a spin on the classic with seams that run all over the front and the back of the legs. For something even more unexpected, try this upcycled cotton pair by Marine Serre, featuring the brand’s signature moon print.

Chuck on a pair of Chucks

Kaia Gerber (Photo credit: Getty Images)
(Photo credit: Getty Images)

Kaia is a big fan of sneakers. Not dad sneakers or the trending boot varieties, but the good old Chuck Taylor All-Star trainers by Converse. Almost as a rule, she wears the high-top versions, and owns pairs in navy blue, white, black and even yellow. And because it’s 2020, she can wear them pretty much everywhere, whether she’s strolling around in Malibu or attending a party in a minidress. When she’s not in sneakers, you’ll likely find Kaia in an equally classic and unisex pair of Doc Martens.

Shop the look: You probably already own a pair in black or white, so why not add a pair of yellow Converse Chuck 70 shoes to your collection like Kaia?

Bring a book (and read it too)

Kaia Gerber (Photo credit: Getty Images)
(Photo credit: Getty Images)

Gen-Z teenager though she may be, Kaia is no slave to the e-reader. While one would probably fit nicely into the many mini handbags she owns (she frequently totes around Medea’s Shopper bags), Kaia prefers to just carry a good old book in hand like the best of us. She has shown off her taste in historical fiction and true crime alike, while also occasionally using novels to shield herself from the paparazzi (not that we’d have that problem).

Shop the look: Head to your nearest bookstore (we recommend The Moon) and pick out a novel or two. No right or wrong answers here — just maybe avoid the ones by John Green.

Pameyla Cambe
Senior Writer
Pameyla Cambe is a fashion and jewellery writer who believes that style and substance shouldn't be mutually exclusive. She makes sense of the world through Gothic novels, horror films and music. Lots of music.