Chrissy Teigen is a woman of many talents: She started her career as a model, and has since added the titles of cookbook author, entrepreneur, social media maven (and unofficial Queen of Twitter) and more to her resume. It’s those accomplishments and accolades that earned her the additional title of Adweek’s 2019 Brand Visionary.
Onstage during our annual Brandweek summit, in conversation with Adweek’s editor and senior vice president of programming Lisa Granatstein during her “Chrissy Teigen on Family, Fame and Keeping It Real” panel, Teigen opened up about beginning her career in modeling and now moving into the world of food, where she sees herself in the future, whether or not she thinks about her tweets before hitting send and more.
1. She and John Legend are recording a song together
Teigen dropped this piece of news onstage—belatedly asking her husband, Legend, who was sitting front row in the audience, if that news was “a secret.” Legend jokingly responded, “Not anymore!” What the song is about and where we will hear it, however, Teigen is staying mum on.
2. She never saw herself as a model
Not only did Teigen not dream of being a model, she never wanted it to be the defining factor in her career. “It wasn’t a thing in high school where I wanted to travel the world and take pictures,” she admitted. “I really just didn’t foresee that in my future, and then everything just fell into place randomly.
“While it was a wonderful experience, I knew that I was never fully comfortable having that be my career title,” she added. She looked up to models-turned-moguls like Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks, who were able to translate their success on the catwalk to success off of it. Even at the height of her modeling career, she was looking for the next step.
“Once I was already in the midst, in the thick of modeling, I knew that I needed to get out of it somehow,” she said. “And then things just fell into place for me. I said ‘yes’ to the right things, I met the right people and created the right team, and that’s why it’s very hard to take credit for anything.”
3. She’s not the “bad bitch” people think
Teigen “reads everything”—meaning, yes, all those tweets and comments—in large part because she enjoys connecting with her fans and the community she’s built. But in doing so, she is inevitably faced with criticism, and Teigen admits that she doesn’t just let it just roll off her back. She confided to being actually quite sensitive, and wanting to please everyone.
“That’s why it’s tough, because when you do enjoy reading everything and you do enjoy interacting with people, there’s going to be people that hate you,” she said. “But if I can fix like that one person, even I’m willing to do it. It’s a very weird trait of mine, and it’s exhausting to have, because some people are just going to hate you and it’s OK—but to me it’s not.”
4. She sees more work with her husband (and kids) in the future
Besides their upcoming duet, Teigen wants to work with Legend more in the future, mentioning a variety, talk or late-night show as potential options. That’s still to come though, as Teigen said the right time will likely happen once “he settles down a little bit.”
She appreciates that her career has grown to a place where she can make “dreams come true” for her daughter, Luna, and son, Miles.
“[For] Luna, whatever she wants is so possible now,” she said. “She doesn’t have to do things she doesn’t like to do. She doesn’t have to start out in the modeling world if she doesn’t necessarily want to. The world is her oyster now.”