You might imagine that a model of such stratospheric fame as Karlie Kloss would live in a parallel universe far, far away from the little people. You’d be wrong. Nicknamed “the nice one” by the industry, she is the epitome of grace both inside and out, and not just because she has a background in ballet. Spotted at fourteen, she did her first cover and was cast for Calvin Klein a year later, yet she has grown up in the spotlight unchanged by the razzmatazz. Self-deprecating about everything, she puts it down to coming from a family with solid values, one of four sisters raised in the Midwest. In fact, during her early modeling years she was rarely seen at photoshoots without her mother, another family member, or her teacher! Along with her philanthropic endeavors, including the famous Kode with Klossy scholarship program that teaches 13–18-year-old girls software engineering skills, she’s now the global ambassador for Swarovski.
You used to be given Swarovski crystals as gifts when you were little—how would you describe your relationship with crystals now?
My earliest memories of Swarovski come from my days of being a ballerina. All our costumes for recitals had Swarovski crystals on them, so wearing them always felt exciting and special. To me, ballet evokes both strength and femininity, which is also reflective of the Swarovski brand.
In your experience, what counts as “brilliant inspiration”?
Anything that challenges your point of view and inspires you to try something unexpected counts as brilliant inspiration. I loved math and science classes growing up, and that curiosity about how the world works inspired me to take my first coding class. You never know where you’ll find your inspiration, but it’s important to pursue the things you’re passionate about.
How do you add shine to your daily look?
Whether I’m wearing a t-shirt and jeans or dressing up for a night out, I like to wear one bold piece of jewelry. A sparkly bracelet or classic pair of earrings always does the trick.
Which role you find most satisfying—philanthropist, businesswoman, or fashion and lifestyle expert?
I’m fortunate to not only have an exciting and fulfilling career as a model, but to also explore opportunities in business, education and philanthropy. Learning new things and having a diverse set of interests and experiences has made me a better model, entrepreneur, philanthropist and student.