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Karlie Kloss on why the tech world needs women

  • 3 days ago

Karlie Kloss never intended to work in fashion. "I feel like I just fell into it– but because I started my career so young, I’ve kind of grown up in this industry," says the Chicago-born model and entrepreneur, who was discovered aged 14 at a local benefit show and made her catwalk debut two years later at New York Fashion Week. "I’ve seen not only the incredible artistry involved, but also the power that comes from building a brand."

She cites female businesswomen such as the designer Carolina Herrera – who gave Kloss her first opportunity to open a show in 2008 – as an influence on the professional choices she has made, which have been consistently bold and increasingly unexpected. In 2015, nine years into a modelling career that had seen her front campaigns for brands from Lanvin to Louis Vuitton, she took control of her own narrative by launching a YouTube channel, Klossy, which she used to share behind-the-scenes clips of her life in fashion before such revelations were the norm.

"At the time, it was a bit controversial that I was bringing my camera backstage on a shoot or travelling to a show. You know, models are traditionally seen and not heard," she says, "and this was one of the first times I got to show people I could actually talk." Not only did Kloss want to talk, she also wanted to learn. That same year, she ended her two-year contract with Victoria’s Secret, blaming scheduling conflicts (she later admitted that the decision was motivated by a growing sense of discomfort with the brand’s values), and took part in a summer camp where she was introduced to the basics of coding.

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