You know their faces. You’ve seen their names. At the mere age of 20, Cara Delevingne and Karlie Kloss have managed to build resumes longer than most adults can fathom. Fashion’s most in-demand mavens seem to have the industry in the palms of their hands. Walking iconic runways, spearheading ad campaigns and signing beauty deals left and right, they have become household names, being sought out across the industry. Sure, they may seem like prodigal goddesses, but don’t let their nearly six-foot frames scare you. Each had her own humble beginning before making it big-time and possesses a down-to-earth sensibility that counteracts any intimidating misconceptions. Once the makeup and couture is stripped away, their bubbly and goofy personalities are revealed, sending a reminder that these women are twentysomethings just like us.
Born in Chicago and moving to St. Louis with her family at the age of 2, Kloss grew accustomed to the stage at a very young age. She joined Caston’s Ballet Academie in suburban St. Louis in 2002, and admits to being “six inches above the whole company.” It was not until later in her career, however, that she realized the impact her ballet training had on her.
“Taking ballet is one of the best things a girl can do. It teaches you discipline and strength and being aware of your body, and I think that that’s helped a lot in this crazy career that I have.” Kloss undoubtedly took the grace and dedication she learned in ballet to the demanding modeling world,” Kloss said in an interview.
After being discovered in her hometown, she quickly rose through the ranks and signed a contract with Elite Model Management in 2007 at the age of 15. In 2008 she moved from Elite to Next Agency and has most recently signed with IMG, arguably the most prestigious agency in the world. Here she joined the ranks with names such as Chanel Iman, Freja Beha, Gisele Bundchen and Kate Moss. Her print career took off with shoots for Teen Vogue and since has landed her pages in Vogue in seven different countries as well as W magazine. In the past few seasons she has walked runways for Christian Dior, John Galliano, Oscar de la Renta, Donna Karan and Zac Posen, just to name a few. She has obtained cosmetic deals with Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, and has recently earned a coveted spot as a Victoria’s Secret Angel.
Not only does Kloss have an endless resume, but she also has found time to launch her own business in partnership with Momofuku Milk Bar, called Karlie’s Kookies. And yes, I know what you’re thinking: a cookie line from a supermodel? Yes, but not ordinary cookies. Kloss’ varieties are gluten-free, dairy-free and agave sweetened, swapping typical ingredients for healthier alternatives like almond flour and dark-chocolate chips. Not only are the cookies lower in guilt, but they also benefit charity. For every “Perfect 10 Kookie” sold, Feed Projects will donate 10 meals to hungry children around the world (although we don’t need much convincing to devour chocolate chip cookies, anyway).
Aside from her stellar resume and hectic schedule, Kloss’ off-duty style lends a breath of fresh air to the frenzy that is her life. She typically keeps her style casual and simple, sporting skinny jeans, blazers, fitted leather jackets, tissue tanks and flouncy dresses, while her accessories are kept minimal chic with quilted cross-body bags, ballet flats and dainty jewelry. She lets her beauty speak for itself and manages an effortless but nonetheless put-together look. When asked to give her best beauty regimen advice, she stressed the importance of removing makeup before going to sleep, otherwise “you will regret it later!” A simple makeup wipe will do the trick, she says, but make sure, no matter when bedtime is, that the makeup comes off. As for her future plans to continue schooling, Kloss said, “I still plan on making it to medical school — something in the pediatric field.” Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins? Who knows, but we have a feeling that wherever she goes, she will still be the tallest, most graceful woman around.
Delevingne, Kloss’ spunky counterpart, joined the fashion realm more recently but has not had the slightest delay in climbing the ranks. The 20-year-old London-native signed with Storm Models in 2009 and later joined DNA Models in 2011. Her piercing baby blue eyes (and, of course, the best eyebrows since Brooke Shields) have designers and magazines practically banging down her door. Let’s be honest, this girl could make a paper bag dress the new must-have. She has been featured in Vogue, Interview, Love magazine, Harper’s Bazaar and W magazine and has dominated the catwalks of Burberry Prorsum, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Chanel, just to name a few. Not to mention, she is currently the face of the beauty campaigns for both Yves Saint Laurent and Burberry Prorsum.
In addition to Delevingne’s quickly growing resume, she has earned herself a spot in today’s cool-kid crowd. Between her kooky street style and circle of celebrity friends — notably Georgia May Jagger, Rita Ora and Rihanna — she effortlessly epitomizes the downtown girl who everyone wants to know. She is known as a comedian who brings a smile and jokes to every set, and she was even called “a silly goose” by Marc Jacobs himself. The self-proclaimed tomboy also proudly admits to playing “Call of Duty” on her Xbox and hating high heels. Her off-duty style seamlessly reflects her quirky disposition and has granted her major street-cred. Her staples include casual beanies, chunky boots and bomber jackets mixed with eclectic and rebellious pieces. Curse words, rapper’s faces and a Bart Simpson-patterned sweatshirt are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to her defiant wardrobe. Countless high-top sneakers, harem sweatpants and muscle tees make us pay tribute to the 80s hip-hop scene.
Delevingne’s goofy personality and eccentric style proves that she does not take life too seriously. Her humble and appreciative outlook on life and her career comes through in everything she does. In an interview, she admitted, “I never imagined myself being in this position. I remember always looking at those [models] and being like, ‘Those superhuman people, they’re so beautiful all the time and so glamorous running around,’ and then I was like, ‘Wait, I’m a model.’” A true testament to her accelerated success, it is clear that Delevingne’s fame has not come close to going to her head. She advises all the busy young women out there to remember to “drink water and breathe” as well as to take time to “do anything where you can just stop for a minute” despite the temptation to continue running 24/7.
The lives of this dynamic duo have transformed (with an abundance of hard work, of course) from average to extraordinary almost overnight. Instead of walking the hallways at high school, they are now conquering catwalks worldwide. They are on a first-name basis with the industry’s top designers and editors and have appeared in every major fashion publication on the newsstands. It is safe to say the next generation of “it” models has arrived. So step aside, Kate Moss and Tyra Banks, because Karlie and Cara are here to stay.