To fête the re-opening of Coach's Fifth Avenue flagship, campaign face Karlie Kloss sat down with Lucky EIC Eva Chen (as well as moderator and Laguna Beach alum Lo Bosworth, who sent my former 18-year-old self into a minor freakout) for a live-streamed Q&A. While the duo dished on the usual suspects -- style secrets, travel tips, gift ideas -- it was the chatter about social media that really stood out.
Kloss is one of the few models working today who truly deserve the "supermodel" title. She's nailed major high fashion campaigns, lucrative contracts with companies like Victoria's Secret, and launched businesses of her own, all before most people her age have even graduated college. And despite joking that her grandmother is better at technology than she is, certainly a large part of that success is owed to her high-profile presence across social media channels.
"It's interesting, I started in this industry six, seven years ago and the fashion industry has had to change and adapt," Kloss said. "You can really use it to your advantage and you can use it as a way to have a voice, which is not something that has always been a case as a model."
That's what makes her Coach campaign so special to her. Called "My New York Story," Kloss had the chance to not only partner with a brand that matches her all-American aesthetic, but also the chance to show off her personality. "As a model, I don't get to be me, and in this campaign, I am," she told the audience.
"I think that was one of the reasons Coach actually wanted to work together," Kloss told me after the session ended. "For me to be a part of the advertising not just as a model, but as me -- my name is in the campaign, my name is in the video, it's me talking about me, which is never the case, it's always this anonymous face in a picture -- it was a huge accomplishment for me, and a huge honor, because Coach really embraced me and appreciated me for me."
"I'm saying 'me' a million times in this sentence! I never say that," Kloss joked. "It was really humbling and pretty cool."
This new emerging breed of social media supermodel -- think Kloss, Coca Rocha and Kate Upton -- is totally different than her earlier counterparts. "Even 10 years ago, the only way a model could distinguish herself is by dating a celebrity, some kind of scandal, or saying something crazy like they won't get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day, and now you really have that 360 view of a model," Chen told me. "They've become a kind of lifestyle icon."
And Kloss, who Chen dubs a "model mogul," is no exception. In the past couple of years, she's launched her own line of long-legged denim with Frame and a successful cookie venture with Momofuku, the latter of which has a philanthropic component that has lead to the donation of over 325,000 school lunches just this year. "You forget how young she is," Chen confessed. "I've known her since she was 14 or 15 and now she's only 21, and I definitely think social media is a way to accelerate your career as a model."
Accelerated though it may be, the leggy model isn't ready to slow down just yet. "I haven't even started!" Kloss told me, grinning.
Check out Kloss's New York Story below: