Behind the scenes with Karlie Kloss

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“I was discovered at a charity fashion show in my hometown of St. Louis when I was fourteen. At the time I was training to be a ballerina and could not have imagined the ride I was in for. Pretty soon after that local fashion show, I walked in my first runway show for Calvin Klein. The rest is history!”

Since that first fashion show, Karlie Kloss has taken the world by storm. As a world renowned model, previous Victoria’s Secret angel, dancer, college student, L’Oréal Paris ambassador and entrepreneur – the 24-year-old’s list of achievements bring a new meaning to the phrase “game changer”. Karlie continues to challenge the status quo and push boundaries in her industry, uniquely defining what it means to be a strong and fearless woman at the top of her game.

“It’s such an honour to be a L’Oreal Paris ambassador and to be among such a powerful, smart, hardworking, extraordinary group of diverse women. To be in the company of these women makes me want to be better. They are the reason I’ve always admired the L’Oreal brand and the strength, beauty and diversity it represents.

I’ve been so fortunate in my career and feel so lucky to be where I am. I feel so grateful that I have a job that I enjoy doing every day. I have the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and creative people in my industry and I learn so much from them every day. I owe a big portion of my success to these amazing co-workers and friends. The last few years have been a whirlwind and I’m excited about everything that’s coming up.”

Over the past year, Karlie has embarked on a new chapter of her life as she balances her work as a model, influencer and computer science student at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

“Though I’m not in school every day, I continue to learn, push and challenge myself in new ways. I’m proud of the experiences I’ve had over the last several years and the many learning opportunities I’ve had the fortune to be a part of.

Looking back to when I started modelling at fourteen years old, I think my determination is the one thing that’s allowed me to push forward in my career. I’m definitely goal-oriented and always try to seize new and exciting opportunities.”

One of Karlie’s most recent opportunities is Kode With Klossy, a project dedicated to closing the gender and job gap between women and the tech industry. Kode With Klossy supports women as they transition into a career in technology and promote diversity by funding coding camps and career scholarships.

Karlie’s social impact began with her partnerships with charities and support of worthy causes. To provide school lunches to disadvantaged children around the country, she created Karlie’s Kookies; an exclusive line of gluten-free and vegan cookies benefitting non-profit organisation FEED. How did this venture begin? With Karlie’s guilty pleasure…

“Cookies! I’m a huge cookie fiend. My grandma makes these delicious ginger snap cookies and they’re the most delicious treats in the world.

I would always bring homemade cookies to every photo shoot and show. I grew up baking and as I’ve gotten more passionate about nutrition, I’ve loved experimenting with healthy ingredients in my baking. So when I had an opportunity during Fashion’s Night Out to collaborate with Momofuku Milk Bar and create an exclusive cookie treat, I was so excited to mix together all of the things that I love. From there the project naturally evolved and grew. “

Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, Karlie hadn’t always envisioned her success as one of Vogue Paris’ top models worldwide.

“I was actually really lanky and giraffe-like growing up! I was taller than all the boys in my class and like any teenager, it definitely took some time for me to grow into my height and body.”

This influenced her view on what really makes a woman beautiful:

“Her humour, heart and intelligence. There are plenty of physically flawless people out there but being a good, kind person is what makes someone beautiful.

Taking care of myself on the inside is so important. Beauty is about more than secret products and regimens. Eating healthy, nutritious foods and exercising on a regular basis is what helps me feel beautiful, strong and confident. Find ways to incorporate movement into your everyday life. Working out doesn’t have to be a chore and it doesn’t have to mean going to the gym and lifting weights. Biking to lunch with a friend or trying out a new, fun dance class are great ways to stay active and enjoy what you’re doing.”

A glance at Karlie’s Instagram showcases her 5.4 million-strong following and adventures across the globe. From her home in New York to London, Milan and Paris, Karlie is an avid traveller and always on-the-go. Her top travel tips?

“I always have gum and chopsticks in my bag!

My phone is always dying so I travel with an extra phone charger no matter what. A lot of my travel is spontaneous because my schedule shifts around so much. So even if I’m travelling in the United States, I always have my passport on me, just in case.

I travel so much during the year that during the holidays it’s nice to stay in and spend some quality time with my family and friends. Whenever I need some downtime, I go to my parent’s place in upstate New York. There’s nothing better than relaxing at home, baking cookies and hanging out with my puppy Jo. “

I always try and look for the good in others. This is a quality my mum instilled in me early on. She taught me to focus on the positive and people’s qualities. I think this approach to life has helped me a lot in my career and I’m so thankful to my mum for always reminding me to look for the good.

What’s next for Karlie Kloss? “I hope whatever I am doing, I’m surrounded by the people I love and care for.”