Karlie Elizabeth Kloss (born August 3, 1992 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American model and ballet dancer. Kloss is ranked 4th on the Top 50 Models Women List by models.com. Vogue Paris declared her one of the top 30 models of the 2000s.
When Kloss was 13, she was discovered at a charity fashion show in St. Louis. She was encouraged and inspired to model by one of her teachers in Webster Groves High School. In 2007, she signed with Elite Model Management.
In January 2008 she left Elite and signed with NEXT Model Management. Kloss received publicity when her runway walk was being mocked by Tyra Banks, but it was Karlie's unusual walk that had designers loving it. She ended up walking 31 runways in New York Fashion Week notably, closing for Marc Jacobs, opening Carolina Herrera, and scored both spots at Doo.Ri. After New York she went on to walk 20 shows in Milan, and 13 in Paris for the fall 2008 collections. A total of Sixty-four shows in a single season. At just 15 years old Kloss was already making serious money, so much so that she was worth going to court over. Kloss found herself in the middle of a legal dispute when her former agency Elite was suing NEXT for allegedly stealing away its young star by offering her "improper compensation" to sign and Elite felt they were responsible for launching her career and getting her tons of work. The case was eventually settled out of court.
She was named the best model by People magazine in 2008. Kloss, labeled her famed runway walk a "moody gait." Molly Sims, whom she considers a mentor, told New York she thinks Kloss is the type of model who will still "do well at 30" because of her classic look.
She has been in advertisements for Donna Karan, Nina Ricci, Chloé, Lacoste, Sportmax, Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana, Gap, Bally Shoe, Bergdorf Goodman, Pringle of Scotland, Dior, Hermes, Oscar de la Renta, Sonia Rykiel, Aquascutum, Topshop, Eryn Brinie, Uniqlo, Omnia Jade, Lord & Taylor, Barneys New York, American Eagle, and Victoria's Secret PINK. Kloss is the face of the Marc Jacobs fragrance Lola. She has walked for numerous designers in New York, London, Milan and Paris, including Shiatzy Chen, Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, Givenchy, Gucci, Valentino, Louis Vuitton and Versace, and appeared in editorials for American and Korean W, American Elle, Allure, i-D, French and Japanese Numéro, Vanity Fair, Dazed & Confused, and American, Australian, Italian, French, British, Korean, German, Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, Portuguese, Teen, and Latin American Vogue magazines. Her covers include Italian Vogue in October 2009 and January 2010, Vogue Turkey, Vogue Portugal, Vogue China in February, August, and November in 2010, Vogue Korea and American Teen Vogue, alongside Chanel Iman and Ali Michael in February 2008 and by herself in May 2010. She has ventured into TV when she appeared in Season Four Episode 2 of Gossip Girl as herself. She has become a muse for fashion designer John Galliano and has appeared in Dior and John Galliano campaigns and opened both shows, Christian Dior Haute Couture and Dior resort shows from spring summer 2010. In the Spring/Summer 2011 Season, she opened 10 shows and closed 8. Her runway walk, one of the most unique, is often described as powerful and 'panther-like'.
In 2011 Kloss renewed her contract with Christian Dior for the third season in a row. According to Vogue.com Kloss, who was considered by designer Jason Wu, is one of the newest icons in American style.