Hudson Kroenig: remember that name. He's fashion's rising runway star. He's also four.
On Tuesday night, Hudson walked his third Chanel runway show, at the annual Chanel Metiers d'Art collection in Scotland. Dressed like Little Lord Fauntleroy in a bowed blouse, knickers, kilt, and a velvet beret, it was the kind of outfit that would prompt most kids his age to throw a tantrum. But Hudson is a professional.
At age one, he was photographed for German Vogue. By two he was taking Paris' fashion week by storm, walking for Chanel hand in hand with his father Brad. By four he had two campaigns (Fendi, Dolce&Gabbana), and several glossy photo shoots (W, Harper's Bazaar, Pirelli Calendar) under his belt.
Hudson was born into the industry. The 32-year-old Brad Kroenig is one of the leading male supermodels in the industry. After rising the ranks from Abercrombie poster-boy to the face of Chanel, Brad became close with Karl Lagerfeld, the iconic brand's creative lead. When Hudson was born in 2008, he named the eccentric designer as his son's godfather.
Read on to learn more about Karl's cutest and smallest muse.
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Lagerfeld has not taken the role lightly. He's already dedicated a photo exhibition and a Chanel book to his young godson. After making his runway debut in 2010, alongside his father for Chanel's Spring/Summer line, Lagerfeld asked Hudson back the next year—this time without his dad. Ouch.
Why would the designer behind a grown-up fashion brand choose a child as its muse?
"Hudson brings the 'aww' factor to Chanel shows," Fashionista's executive editor Leah Chernikoff tells Yahoo! Shine. "That's never a bad thing. Fashion can seem over-serious and severe even but you can't help smiling when an adorable three-year-old hits the runway holding hands with his gorgeous model-dad."
The rewards go both ways.
"They seem to have a pretty close relationship," says Chernikoff. "And if godfathers are supposed to be imposing and formidable Karl certainly fits the bill."
Hudson's modeling career isn't all "Uncle Karl" has gifted to his godson. Lagerfeld showers the 4-year-old with the kind of personal gifts only a Victorian-era child, or a fashion designer would covet.
"We had a deal, remember?" Brad Kroenig instructed his son, during an interview with the New York Times. "Show him the markers Karl gave you."
Hudson's collection of Parisian sketch pencils, hand-sewn Lagerfeld replica dolls and Fendi-stamped kid-sized sneakers, are part of the collection the toddler has amassed for display before an endlessly amused fashion press.
Last year, the website Coveteur photographed Hudson's wardrobe. Draped over toy trucks and dusted easel chalkboards in his New York City bedroom, were the Fendi overcoats, leather cowboy boots, designer logo high-tops and "layering" options Hudson is said to covet. Shawls are apparently his new favorite thing, and blazers are this boy's best friend. But really?
In a "behind-the-scenes" photograph on the same website, there's Hudson wearing a Batman t-shirt like any other kid, watching TV with his dad.
Whether Hudson really enjoys being the darling of the fashion world remains to be seen. But to his father, a Missouri-born college drop-out who has masterfully weathered an industry with a short fuse, the exposure is a good thing.
"It's the best education, traveling all over the world," Kroenig told the New York Times. His wife Nicole, who recently gave birth to their second child, Jameson, has never publicly commented on her son's career.
At a Chanel show in March, Vogue claims little Hudson outshone fellow catwalkers Miranda Kerr and Stella Tennant.
In an industry that takes itself gravely seriously, kids are a secret weapon. Their unlikely appearance adds levity in a world where short humans and unprompted smiles are like unicorns. That means people pay attention to them, more so even than the celebrity supermodel holding their hands.
But all that exposure at such an early age has its cost. Hudson, with his steely stare, appears to be growing up fast. "Hudson loves to take pictures with Daddy," according to Coveteur. "[He] thinks it's cool to participate in special shoots, and always talks about all the 'pretty model girls,' already a ladies man."
— Piper Weiss
Copyright © 2012 Yahoo Inc.
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