The Transformation Of Karlie Kloss From Childhood To 31 Years Old

Model Karlie Kloss is a household name in the fashion industry. She's walked countless runways and modeled for just about every high-end designer in the world, including Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta, and Versace, to name a few. We've seen her on dozens of fashion campaigns for Marc Jacobs and Kate Spade and in television commercials for Estee Lauder and L'Oréal. It's safe to say that Kloss' resume is never-ending, and at the age of 31, she isn't going anywhere.

Despite being one of the most well-known models in the industry, most people don't know that Kloss is more than just a pretty face. She's a techie and even created a camp for girls to get them interested in STEM-related careers. She was previously recognized on the Time 100 Most Influential People list for her philanthropic achievements and continues to be a role model for young women. "I am deeply ambitious and driven, and there are a lot of big things I want to do – big things," Kloss told Vogue in 2019.

There's plenty to learn about Kloss. From her humble beginnings in the midwest to becoming a devoted mother of two, here is the transformation of Karlie Kloss from childhood to 31.

She's been a model since she was a kid

Karlie Kloss' road to modeling began in 2006. The story goes that the then-14-year-old was hanging out at the mall in her hometown of St. Louis when an agent approached her about modeling in a charity fashion show. "This was like not even on my radar. My mind was focused on sports, and school and ballet," she shared on YouTube. At the event, a major model scout noticed Kloss, who helped her land an agent in Chicago. From then, she went on to book her first major modeling job — walking for Calvin Klein.

In an interview for the Wall Street Journal Magazine, Kloss recalled her first gig with the designer. "I can remember standing on the corner of 39th Street and 7th Avenue in New York, and this was September 2007. I was with my mom, and we were standing on the street corner. And she was talking to my agent, and he told us that I had booked an exclusive with Calvin Klein to walk in the runway show. That phone call and that runway changed my life, and overnight I had a career," she said.

The Kloss family moved from St. Louis to upstate New York to be closer to their daughter, who was living in New York City for her modeling career. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, her mother, Tracy, shared, "Although we didn't know much about the fashion industry, we said from the beginning that it was going to be a business, and we're doing it together." 

Karlie Kloss isn't the only family member with good looks

Karlie Kloss was born in Chicago, Illinois, but was raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Her father, Kurt Kloss, is an emergency room doctor, and her mother, Tracy, works as a freelance art director. However, Karlie isn't an only child. She has three sisters who are just as beautiful and have supported Karlie since her humble beginnings in modeling. 

In 2012, the model and her siblings, older sister Kristine and twins Kimberly and Kariann, were all featured in Teen Vogue, where they talked about keeping a close bond even with Karlie traveling around the world for her career. The model shared that she would secretly take her sisters on modeling trips to places like the south of France. Despite her busy career, Kloss has always remained close to her family. "I feel very lucky. I have an amazing support system. You guys are my secret weapons. We're all different. We each have our own strengths," the model said about her siblings.

The Kloss sisters have continued to be extremely close with Kloss' sisters showing massive support for their famous sibling. In 2017, Kariann shared a photo of Karlie on the cover of Forbes and captioned it, "Proud little sister" on Instagram. In 2022, Kimberly shared a selfie on Instagram of the four sisters together and captioned it, "My Everything's."

Two top modeling agencies fought over her

Karlie Kloss became a coveted model after signing with Elite Model Management in 2008. At just 15-years-old, she walked in sixty-four fashion shows during the Fall 2008 season in New York, Milan, and Paris. These shows included top designers like Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior, and Dolce & Gabbana, to name just a few. It's no wonder that it wasn't such an easy transition when she decided to leave Elite for Next Management.

In fact, in 2008, Elite sued Next for stealing Kloss. As the New York Post reported, the lawsuit claimed that Next offered Kloss "improper compensation" to sign with the modeling agency. Elite believed they had a hand in launching Kloss' modeling career and were not going down without a fight. However, the case was settled out of court, and Kloss signed with Next for the subsequent four years before joinig IMG Models in 2012. That same year, Kloss also left the St.Louis agency that initially discovered her, Mother Model Management. 

By then, Kloss had already scored several Vogue covers, multiple ad campaigns for designers like Donna Karen and Christian Dior, walked for Victoria's Secret, and posed nude for acclaimed fashion photographer Steven Meisel. 

She was a ballerina

Before Karlie Kloss had any interest in becoming a model, she was a talented ballerina, having studied classical ballet at Caston's Ballet Academy in St. Louis, Missouri. According to People, she studied ballet for 15 years. However, becoming a ballerina was not in the stars for Kloss because of her height. Speaking to Vogue in 2015, the model shared, "I didn't grow up wanting to become a model. I didn't think about fashion at all. That's all I wanted to be, a dancer. But I just keep growing up and up and up! I lived in tights and a bun." 

Despite leaving ballet behind, her training did help her have a leg up in her modeling career. "My ballet training was honestly the most valuable thing I could have done to prepare myself for this career ... [Modeling] is about movement, about rhythm, about your body and your muscles," she told Vogue.

In 2014, Kloss even shared an adorable throwback celebrating her older sister Kristine's birthday with a photo of the pair in pink tutus on Instagram.

She knows how to code

The same year Karlie Kloss began her studies at NYU, the model also launched Kode with Klossy. A camp for young girls interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), with her program mainly focused on coding. Girls aged 13 through 18 learn the basics like HTML, JavaScript, and Ruby. By the end of two weeks, they are creating functional websites and phone apps. 

Kloss has been fascinated with coding for many years and took coding classes at the Flatiron School in New York. The model's program, which began with one New York coding camp, has since evolved into coding camps across the U.S., with scholarships also offered. The goal is to motivate young women to enter tech fields, which men have dominated. "Learning to code was an eye-opening experience for me because it made me realize, wow, if I'm not formally educated and I can figure it out, other young women need to have access to these opportunities and skills too," the model told Harpers Bazaar.

"Call me a nerd, but I love coding, the language of computers. Understanding coding is a superpower. I met some tech entrepreneurs and they are billionaires through learning this stuff. I'm so competitive with myself and fascinated by the language of technology, so I decided to be part of the conversation ... I think it's sexy to learn this stuff; it enables and it empowers both sexes," Kloss told Vogue UK

She gave up her Victoria's Secret Angel wings in 2019

Karlie Kloss walked her first Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in 2011. Two years later, she would join the likes of Alessandra Ambrosio, Candice Swanepoel, and Adriana Lima when she earned her wings and became a Victoria's Secret Angel. Kloss walked in four VS shows from 2011 through 2014. She even sparked controversy over a 2012 look when she dawned a Native American headdress that she had apologized for. 

In 2015, Kloss hung up her VS wings to further her education. As reported by ABC News, the model attended New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, a small college within the prestigious university that allows students to design courses based on their interests. Kloss reportedly had interests in computer science, psychology, space, and art history. 

However, in 2019, Kloss revealed that she left Victoria's Secret behind because of its lack of diversity. "The reason I decided to stop working with Victoria's Secret was I didn't feel it was an image that was truly reflective of who I am and the kind of message I want to send to young women around the world about what it means to be beautiful," she shared with British Vogue. Despite this, Kloss would walk the famous VS runway again in 2017.

She's walked and modeled for every designer under the sun

Since her first Calvin Klein show, Kloss has walked for Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, Diane Von Furstenberg, Versace, and Marc Jacobs. She opened her first show for Carolina Herrera at the debut of the designer's Autumn/Winter 2008 collection, with her runway walk setting her apart from all other models. Herrera told The Washington Post, "I love the way she shows. She moves like a cat. I love the way she walks. For me, it's more important than beauty."

In 2010, Kloss landed major contracts with Hermes and Christian Dior, where she became the face of the luxury designers. In the following years, she would open and close shows for John Galliano, Oscar de la Renta, and Rodarte. In 2014, Kloss was almost everywhere after signing contracts with Nike, Donna Karen, and Jean Paul Gaultier. Though she isn't strutting her unique runway walk as much as she used to, Kloss did return to walk for Marc Jacobs' Fall 2020 show, the 2022 Vogue World NYFW Runway Show, and Carolina Herrera's Spring/Summer 2023 collection. 

Kloss is not only affiliated with major fashion houses. In 2014, she was the face of Coco Chanel's Noir fragrance and L'Oreal Paris cosmetics. Two years later, she became the face of Swarovski, replacing her Victoria's Secret counterpart Miranda Kerr. In 2018, Kloss was announced as the brand ambassador of Estee Lauder. 

She was part of Taylor Swift's girl squad

Karlie Kloss and Taylor Swift's friendship has been a hot topic of conversation. The iconic friendship began in 2013 when the women met backstage at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. From there, they were practically attached at the hip, with the two even posing together for the cover of Vogue in 2015. In the issue, Kloss gushed over their bond, "You know, real friends are hard to find – and Taylor's a real friend. There's nothing better." That same year, Kloss appeared in Swift's "Bad Blood" music video and was a part of the songstress' famous girl squad of celebs that included Selena Gomez, Hailee Steinfeld, and Cara Delevingne.

However, rumors of the demise of their friendship began in 2017, when fans noticed Swift left Kloss' name off her famous T-shirt in her "Look What You Made Me Do" music video, which listed the names of her other friends. Those rumors intensified when Swift wasn't seen at Kloss' two wedding celebrations to her husband, Joshua Kushner. To complicate matters further, in 2019, Kloss was photographed vacationing with music executive Scooter Braun, the man whom Swift called a "manipulative bully," after he purchased her former record label, Big Machine, and acquired the masters for the first six Swift albums.

According to People, Swift fans were in hysterics when they spotted Kloss attending the singer's Era's Tour in Los Angeles in August 2023. However, instead of sitting in the VIP section, Kloss was seen watching her old bestie in the bleachers. Though it remains unclear where the friendship stands, the fact that Kloss attended has some feeling hopeful for a reunion.

She took Heidi Klum's host position on Project Runway

In 2019, Karlie Kloss replaced Heidi Klum as the host of the reality competition series "Project Runway."Following the announcement, Kloss publicly shared that she had been a longtime fan of the series, and that becoming its host was probably something she could have never imagined. "Watching this show with my sisters was really my first introduction to fashion – and we sucked my poor dad into it. So it's a pinch-me moment to be a part of the show now," Kloss told Entertainment Weekly. The model hosted the show's 18th season but quickly gave up her hosting duties, appearing occasionally on Season 19.

This wasn't Kloss' first time hosting or presenting for a television series. In 2012, she co-hosted MTV's reboot of "House of Style" along with model Joan Smalls. 

She's sort of related to the Trump family

Given that Karlie Kloss is a stunning model, one might assume she's broken many hearts. However, Kloss has reportedly been with businessman Joshua Kushner since 2012. The pair got engaged in July 2018 and married that October in New York. They later had a second wedding celebration in Wyoming in June 2019.

So what does Kloss' marriage to Kushner have to do with the Trump family? Through marriage, she is related to her husband's brother, Jared Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, the daughter of former president Donald Trump. Kloss has somewhat of a complicated relationship with the Trump family, which includes her husband being a lifelong Democrat. 

After Trump lost the election to Biden, pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. capital in January 2021. Kloss tweeted about the events, "Accepting the results of a legitimate democratic election is patriotic. Refusing to do so and inciting violence is anti-American." Replying to her tweet, a Twitter user suggested Kloss try to "tell your sister in law and brother [in] law" to accept the election outcome. Kloss responded with, "I've tried." Kloss made her political stance clear during the 2020 presidential election when she posted a selfie on Instagram wearing a Joe Biden/Kamala Harris face mask.

Kloss and Kushner are super low key

Though Karlie Kloss may have some tension among her family regarding politics, her relationship with her husband, Joshua Kushner, is pretty solid. However, you won't hear Kloss divulging much about their long-lasting romance. 

During an interview with Porter in 2018, Kloss shared that she wasn't intentionally trying to hide her marriage from the world. "It's not like I've ever wanted to be so secretive about my private life. Carolina Herrera always says, 'A woman who's an open book is boring.' There's no mystery anymore. I know in my life what really matters to me. I'm not trying to hide that from the world; I just really like having a more private private life. I've got nothing to hide, though!" Kloss said.

Despite not saying much about their marriage, Kloss still manages to share tidbits of her life with Kushner to her 13 million Instagram followers. Fans were treated to photos of the model and her hubby when they attended the 2023 Met Gala and the special moment Kushner had his first look at his bride-to-be on their wedding day. 

She's a mother of two

When Karlie Kloss isn't posing for yet another ad campaign, walking runways, or teaching young women to code, she's busy being a mom of two. In March 2021, she and her husband, Joshua Kushner, welcomed their first child, a boy named Levi. On Instagram, Kloss celebrated Levi turning one with a photo showing the model holding her son. "In a blink of an eye my baby is 1. Becoming a mama has been the greatest joy of my life, I have never grown more as an individual or loved more deeply. Levi, thank you for choosing us. @joshuakushner and I love you more than we can ever express."

Kloss had even more love to give when she debuted a baby bump at the 2023 Met Gala and confirmed she was pregnant with the couple's second child. Kloss later announced the birth of her second son in July 2023 with a black-and-white photo on Instagram, revealing his name to be Elijah. In August, she shared a sweet photo on Instagram of herself holding her newborn and kissing her son Levi at her 31st birthday. "Going into 31 with a heart full of gratitude," she captioned it.

You can find her on YouTube

When we said that Karlie Kloss is just about everywhere, we meant it. Besides seeing her face in fashion magazines and commercials, fans of the model can also find her on YouTube, where she has a channel called Klossy.

Klossy was launched in 2015, and it is where the model has shared a lot of her life with videos like "How Falling On The Runway Can Help Your Career" and "Day In The Life: Paris Fashion Week." Kloss has also shared several videos of at-home workout on the channel and discussed some of her most memorable modeling moments, including the time she had to chop off all her hair into a bob for Vogue, which ultimately became known as the "Karlie." Some of her most popular videos include behind-the-scenes looks at a Victoria's Secret Fashion Show and the making of her wedding dress.

At the time of writing, Kloss hasn't posted a video since 2020. However, if she needs inspiration for new content, maybe she can tell us what's happening between her and Taylor Swift because we're all dying to know.

Fashion and technology go hand in hand for Kloss

Karlie Kloss isn't embarrassed to state that she's a techie at heart. In 2022, the model worked with the online gaming platform Roblox to create fashion pop-up stores called the Fashion Klossette with clothing items that players can purchase using their online Robux. In 2023, Kloss expanded her Fashion Klossette by creating her own fashion world on Roblox. Users who play in the world can create custom runway looks and go from being a fashion intern to an editor-in-chief. 

In an interview with Harper's Bazaar, Kloss shared her enthusiasm for creating an online community that everyone can enjoy. "I wanted to bridge the gap between the two worlds that I love – fashion and technology – because, at the moment I think we're just scratching the surface of what we can do with this more immersive way of connecting and communicating," she said.

As reported by Fashionista, Kloss wants the world to understand that women are just as savvy in tech as men. "It's not just for guys in hoodies – no offense to the guys in hoodies," she told Business of Fashion's Imran Ahed at Fast Company's 2016 Innovation Festival.