In the fashion industry today, it can often feel like being just one thing — a model, a blogger, an editor — is not enough. To be truly successful, you have to branch out and build a "personal brand," be it through a fashion line or a cosmetics company. Certainly, no one understands that more than supermodel-slash-entrepreneur Karlie Kloss, who is more in demand than ever in her 10th year as a model. But while she has some big goals on her horizon, she won't be launching anything on her own any time soon.
"Right now, I'm still soaking it all in and learning as much as I can from the people I work with," she told Business of Fashion's Imran Ahed at Fast Company's 2016 Innovation Festival. "I definitely aspire to build something — I know that sounds so vague — but I don't want to do it until I have the right idea... something nobody else is doing and something where I can really make a difference through it."
Kloss has experience making a difference through her various projects: Karlie's Kookies, her signature collaboration with Momofuku Milk Bar, has provided more than one million school lunches through its sales, and Kode with Klossy has given a huge platform for young girls who want to learn how to code ("It's not just for guys in hoodies — no offense to the guys in hoodies, of course," she said with a laugh). But as she told Tuesday's audience, those projects were the accidental result of following her passions, which is important to her when launching a venture. And while she's probably passionate about her relationship with Taylor Swift, she told the audience that she doesn't plan on going into business with the superstar any time soon, either. "I'm focused on my own projects and ambitions — who knows, maybe I'll teach her how to code," Kloss said jokingly. "But right now she's just my friend."
As busy as she is with her side ventures, don't expect her to leave her day job as a model. Kloss explained to the audience that modeling is about so much more than showing up for a photo shoot; it gives her a voice and the opportunity to give back to the things she cares about.
"My modeling career has been my platform to have a voice, and this platform, I want to grow it as big and as wide as possible to make the biggest impact in these ways that I'm really passionate about," she said. "I don't think I'd be satisfied if I was just doing my day job — not because it's not fulfilling, but because I see it as an opportunity to do so much more."