It was a fateful day. February 2014, New York City. Kendall Jenner, of reality-show fame and a family big on K’s, walked in the fall Marc Jacobs show, wearing a sheer bronze knit and kicky ’60s trousers, her long, dark hair covered by a blunt chestnut wig. As they say in France, there was a palpable frisson. Now Jenner has 31 shows, an Estée Lauder campaign, and, here, her second shoot with Karl Lagerfeld under her belt. She’s the hardest to keep up with of all.
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Laura Brown: This shoot is quite the metaphor. Coming out of a box—like when you arrived in fashion.
Kendall Jenner: It was really exciting. Actually. I remember the Marc Jacobs show, which was my first really big show and my coming out… Before I walked it I didn’t know how everyone would react to me. But no one knew I was doing it.
LB: [Stylist] Katie Grand cast you, right?
KJ: Yes. My agents tried to trick me at first. They were going to tell me I didn’t get it, but they were too excited, so they were like, “[Aww, forget it!] you got the show.” I almost started crying. It was fun.
LB: Karl Lagerfeld has said you’re the girl of the moment. How do you make this moment last?
KJ: I started this hoping that it would have longevity. I didn’t come into this thinking it’s going to be a fun thing that I’m going to do on the side. It’s something I want to do my whole life. It’s a career, so I needed to be really gentle with it. We had to pick and choose things very specifically.
LB: Tell me about when you first met Karl.
KJ: I’m really shy when I first meet someone—and meeting him was even worse. He would say something to me and I would just nod. It was like meeting a crush or something—I was mute. He probably thought I was the biggest weirdo. And then every time we’d see each other, it would just get better and better. Now we’re totally BFFs.
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LB: What have you learnt from him?
KJ: I’ve learnt to be a better model. Whenever I shoot with him, he gives me some tips, little things, pointers. He makes me feel good when I’m working with him—we have good chemistry now.
LB: Okay, some word association. Karl is …
KJ: Amazing. That was boring, though! Hmm. Funny? Has great hair? Has amazing hair!
LB: How did you make friends with your Instagram pals—Cara Delevingne, Joan Smalls, Gigi Hadid?
KJ: Just through work. I think it’s super important. You have to be around these girls for work, for parties, for events, for shows, especially. It’s good to have a set of girlfriends that you can stand being around. You have to be around these people all the time!
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LB: Blondes or brunettes, who has more fun?
KJ: I’m a brunette, and I have a lot of fun.
LB: How many pairs of shoes do you have?
KJ: Um, I’m too embarrassed to say. I have a problem—I need to go to rehab for shoe addiction. The last pair I bought were some Giuseppe Zanottis, thigh-high.
LB: What’s the thing that first attracts you to someone?
KJ: Really beautiful eyes.
LB: What’s your dream date?
KJ: I don’t know, a nice dinner. I love, like, being outside at night. I know that sounds really random, but I love being on the beach or anywhere outside at night. I think it’s beautiful and romantic.
LB: Flowers or chocolates?
KJ: Flowers. I hate chocolate. I love roses—I’m classic.
LB: Night owl or early bird?
KJ: Neither. It depends. I go through phases of going out with my friends at night, but for the most part I love my sleep, I love to chill out.
LB: Favourite food?
KJ: If I’m being honest, pasta. But I’m working to stay away from it because I’m trying to get on a no-carb diet. I’m trying to cut out bread, or just cut down on it. I eat too much bread.
LB: What are you most ambitious for?
KJ: I’m definitely ambitious. This past year has changed my life in so many ways. I’ve met so many people, been to so many places. When you look back at it, it’s pretty crazy. I’d love just continuing that, continuing to grow.
LB: Finally, whose style do you love?
KJ: I really admire Kim’s style. It’s insane. She really knows how to work her style with her body. I think she could be a major fashion icon. It’s so fun to be in Paris with her, but I’ll walk out and be like, “Oh, my God, I love my outfit,” and then I’ll see Kim and say, “My outfit sucks compared to yours!”
Photographs by Karl Lagerfeld; Interview by Laura Brown; Styling by Amanda Harlech.