The Stunning Transformation Of Karlie Kloss

Karlie Kloss is many things: She's a bona fide supermodel, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, an advocate for women and girls, a student, and the wife of a very wealthy investment banker. At over six feet tall, the blonde bombshell has graced runways all over the world, as well as countless magazine covers and billboards. It seems like she was just born to be famous, as she handles everything with a delicate grace and down-to-earth sensibility.

But Kloss wasn't born with into fashion royalty, and she didn't spend her childhood on the sidelines of runways in Milan. Rather, Kloss is a Midwestern gal by birth and pedigree, with a totally normal family and equally normal coming-of-age experiences. She didn't even aspire to be a model until she was discovered by chance at age 13.

So how did Kloss go from St. Louis to the top of the New York elite? What would her life have been like if she'd never caught the eye of modeling professionals? And how has she changed from the girl she once was? Read on to witness the stunning transformation of Karlie Kloss.

When Karlie Kloss was a child, she wanted to be a doctor

Karlie Kloss was born the second-eldest of four girls and the daughter of an emergency room physician and a freelance art director, according to the Wall Street Journal. And interestingly enough, when Kloss was growing up she had no intention of becoming a model, as she had other aspirations. "I always identified myself as a girl who was good at math and science," she recalled in an interview with Vogue. She noted, "I always thought, Well, I'm not artistic; that doesn't come easily to me." She did dance ballet, however, which would serve her well later in life.

Kloss' sister Kristine recalls her sibling's intellectual curiosity. "We used to joke that Karlie was the nerdy one," she added. "Imagine an adorable first-grader having fun with science experiments; that was Karlie every day. She loved learning." It's not surprising, then, that Kloss dreamed of becoming a doctor like her father someday.

Karlie Kloss had her heart broken in eighth grade

You would think that someone as incredibly gorgeous as Karlie Kloss had boys knocking on her door all throughout middle school and high school. But as she tells it, Kloss was not exactly popular with the opposite sex. "I couldn't pay a boy to date me," she revealed in an interview with Sunday Today. Um, did Kloss grow up in some strange parallel universe?

Specifically, Kloss remembers getting her heart absolutely broken when she was in the eighth grade when she told her crush how she felt. "I poured my heart out to him at one point and said, 'I love you, please, will you date me?' and he was like, 'Oh, Karlie, I love you, but you're a friend.' Friend territory," she continued. "He crushed my heart." You have to wonder if he regrets that decision today!

Kloss went on to go with that same friend to her senior prom, where their staggering height difference made for an awkward evening, as Kloss was significantly taller than him.

Karlie Kloss started modeling when she was 15 years old

Modeling fell into Karlie Kloss' life when at age 13, she was scouted at a mall charity fashion show by Mother Model Management, which also launched Ashton Kutcher's career. Just two years later in 2007, she walked for the first time in a professional fashion show at New York Fashion Week for Calvin Klein. "When I walked that runway, I didn't know a single person in the audience and I was thinking, 'OK, I gotta do my chemistry homework,'" she admitted in an interview with Net-a-Porter. "Every moment of that first trip to New York was a Cinderella experience." She added that if she hadn't been discovered, her life likely would have gone in a vastly different direction.

Although Kloss' star rose immediately, minting her as an in-demand model seemingly overnight, she was just barely learning the ropes. "When I started my career, I wanted to just survive another season," she continued. "I thought of everything in six-month increments. Not to mention I was in high school and my priorities were, 'How can I still get straight A's and also do this after-school side hustle called modeling?'"

Karlie Kloss was bullied in high school

Once Karlie Kloss' modeling career took off, she did had to balance it with her educational obligations, and she continued to attend her high school back in St. Louis, Mo. It was pretty much a double life for Kloss, who would be in her regular classes at one moment, then out of the country to walk in fashion shows the next. That's a lot for a young teenager to have to juggle!

As hard as it might be to believe, Kloss' classmates weren't exactly kind to her, even though she was on track to becoming a world-famous supermodel. "I'd go back to high school from Paris with bleached brows," she explained in an interview with The Day. And her peers would call her a "weird, tall alien."

For Kloss, dealing with that was difficult, but she's taken the best she can out of the experience. "I've grown a thick skin," she continued. "It's the 15-year-old, impressionable girls who I worry about."

Karlie Kloss was "a fly on the wall" in her early career

It's well-known that the modeling world and fashion industry is a pretty big deal, populated by some of the most high-profile artists out there. And while that could have intimidated Karlie Kloss when she was just starting out, she instead seized the opportunity as a learning experience. "I didn't feel nervous or scared. I was always very calm," she shared in an interview with Net-a-Porter. "I feel like for the first half of my career I was the fly on the wall, watching and absorbing everything that was happening around me. I still try to keep my eyes and ears open to everything."

That innate curiosity has served Kloss well over the years, as she's been able to soak in every last detail of the multi-billion dollar apparel industry. "I've been in the most extraordinary and intimate settings with the best in our business," she continued. "I've watched designers make couture gowns around every inch of my body, and I've always tried to understand what really happens behind the scenes." That honestly sounds like a really exciting experience.

For a short period, Karlie Kloss stopped getting jobs because of her size

Given that Karlie Kloss was only 15 years old when she started modeling, her body was still going through adolescence. That turned out to be a curve ball for her, as she went from a size 0 to a size 4/6 in one year. "I started taking birth control, and my body became more womanly — hips and thighs appeared," she recalled in an interview with Vogue. "I started losing jobs; I wasn't getting booked for the runway; designers stopped working with me. It felt as if my world had been turned upside down." Kloss was even called both too thin and too fat in one day, according to W magazine, which shows just how insane this time had to be for her.

But instead of running away from the industry or abusing her body to stay rail thin, Kloss decided to be true to herself. "That's when I had a breakthrough," she continued to Vogue. "I realized it was time for me to do me, to embrace the things that make me who I am." And that clearly paid off.

In 2011, Karlie Kloss became a Victoria's Secret angel

By the time 2011 rolled around, Karlie Kloss was one busy woman. She renewed her contract with Christian Dior, appeared on the cover of Life magazine, and walked in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show as an angel for the very first time. Naturally, Kloss was ecstatic to be featured in such a high-profile fashion event. "I'm floating on cloud nine right now," she gushed in a post-show interview with Hollywood Life. "It was such an amazing night. I can't believe I just walked in the Victoria's Secret show!" Congrats, Karlie!

Kloss was quite the belle of the ball that evening, wearing giant, ten-foot wings, and closing the show while wearing a disco ball. "Tonight is a night I will absolutely never forget," she continued, adding, "I still have goosebumps thinking about it. It hasn't really sunken in yet. ... It's been a surreal experience."

Kloss would go on to walk for Victoria's Secret many more times, as well as for numerous other fashion designers and labels. She also became the face of multiple ad campaigns and was featured on a host of fashion magazines. Our girl was becoming a household name!

In 2015, Karlie Kloss went back to school

With a flourishing career as a super hot American supermodel, you may be tempted to think that Karlie Kloss was content to rest on her laurels and stick to modeling. After all, she quickly became a multi-millionaire, and gets to travel the world and live the high life — what's left to want? 

But instead of staying in one lane, Kloss decided to go back to school in 2015, specifically at New York University. "I didn't want to wait until I'm 30 to continue learning and challenging myself in new ways," she explained in an interview with Glamour. "I am 23 and at a very busy point in my career, but I hope it's just the beginning. I want to do it all." 

As for what Kloss specifically wanted to study, initially she kept it open. "Like most kids starting college, my major is still 'undecided,'" she continued. "Next year will be a big balancing act — but how exciting! I haven't written a paper in years." That proves it's never too late to enrich the mind.

When Karlie Kloss stopped working for Victoria's Secret, it was personal

Despite Karlie Kloss' sheer elation at working as a Victoria's Secret angel, after studying feminist theory at New York University, she decided to sever her contract in 2015. "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 revealed in an interview with Vogue

While the contract she had with the company was quite lucrative, for Kloss, she gained something much more valuable when she quit representing the lingerie company. "I think that was a pivotal moment in me stepping into my power as a feminist," she continued. "[And] being able to make my own choices and my own narrative, whether through the companies I choose to work with, or through the image I put out to the world."

Kloss, who is just one of many Victoria's Secret models who quit the lingerie brand, didn't completely abandon Victoria's Secret entirely, as she has walked for them since terminating her contract — but it was on her terms, according to The Telegraph.

Karlie Kloss is an advocate for women and girls in STEM fields

In addition to becoming a student in 2015, Karlie Kloss also got passionate about coding — and decided she wanted to give back in a big way. To that end, she started Kode with Klossy, a charitable organization that helps teach girls to code and gives out scholarships to young female developers. "I'm really passionate about girls," she proclaimed in an interview with Net-a-Porter. "I grew up in a house full of girls, and so many of the people who have been supportive of me throughout my career have been young women. I've wanted to give something back in a way, and coding has made a huge difference in my life." What an awesome initiative! 

That doesn't mean that Kloss thinks everyone should go into STEM fields, however. She just wants to make opportunities available that weren't there before. "I'm not trying to force every girl to become an engineer," she continued. "It's more that I have sincere passions and curiosities in understanding how the world around me works, and math and science ultimately can explain why and how."

Karlie Kloss says she has a different body since she started modeling

When Karlie Kloss first started strutting on runways back in 2007, she was very skinny and not yet a fully mature woman. Since then her body has changed, not just from adolescence but from what she eats in a day and how she approaches exercise. "I have a different body today than I did when I first started this career," she shared in a 2018 interview with Net-a-Porter. "I've had to grow into my own skin in a lot of ways and there was a shift in my head where I was like, 'I don't want to be skinny. I want to be strong.'" Kloss also had to accept her extremely tall height.

When Kloss prioritizes being strong over simply being thin, it makes her all the more well-adjusted and happy. "I feel better in my own skin when I am like that," she continued. "It's how I take care of my body, what I eat. Not to an excessive point where I'm scared to gain a pound, but I have a long list of things that I want to accomplish and I need strength and energy to do that." Amen, Karlie!

Karlie Kloss became a marathon runner

In 2015, Karlie Kloss decided she was going to start training for a half marathon, according to Runner's World. Then in 2017, she ran in the New York City marathon, according to a post on her Instagram page — something she was very proud of. "I was excited to tick that off my box when I finished the marathon," she gushed in an interview with V Magazine. "It makes me want to do many more." 

Although Kloss has been active for her entire life, running like that was new for her, something she really had to work hard on. "In my mind, I didn't really see myself as a runner," she continued. "I did a half marathon before that. And that's when I thought, 'Wow. I can actually do this. I can run more than 2 miles.' I learned how to pace myself and how to build endurance." And that, in turn, showed her that she's capable of accomplishing anything she puts her mind to.

Karlie Kloss did something special for her husband before they got married

On Oct. 18, 2018, Karlie Kloss married her boyfriend, venture capitalist Josh Kushner, brother of White House insider Jared Kushner — making her one of many celebs most don't realize have a connection to the Trumps. But before that ceremony took place, Kloss made the decision to convert to Judaism, as the Kushner family is observant. "It wasn't enough to just love Josh and make this decision for him," she revealed in an interview with Vogue. She continued, "It was only after many years of studying and talking with my family and friends and soul searching that I made the decision to fully embrace Judaism in my life and start planning for a future with the man I chose to marry."

As for anyone who thought she made the decision lightly, or just changed for her man, that was most definitely not the case. "Actually, if you've been through what I've experienced, it requires you to be anything but weak," she continued. "It requires me to be stronger and self-loving and resilient. I really did not take this lightly."

Karlie Kloss says she still as a normal life

Now that Karlie Kloss has been in the fashion business for many years, she's assumed a more senior position within it. To that end, she's become a mentor for emerging models like Kaia Gerber, according to W magazine. Additionally, Kloss is both a host and an executive producer for Project Runway, as noted by Vogue magazine. The accolades and accomplishments just keep coming — who knows what Kloss will conquer next!

But despite her seriously impressive resume, Kloss is humble, and she truly believes that she has a pretty average existence. "I have this extraordinary life, but also this very normal life," she mused in an interview with Net-a-Porter. "I think I'm totally normal and boring in a lot of ways. Maybe I'm way off base, but I wouldn't want it any other way." One thing's for sure, though, and that's that Kloss is truly a force to be reckoned with.