Karlie Kloss is a ‘nerd’: ‘I want to run companies, have a business future’

karlie cover

This Vogue UK cover isn’t very flattering for Karlie Kloss, right? I like Karlie a lot, even though I tend to think she’s pretty milquetoast-on-purpose. She really has cultivated an image for herself that she’s the wholesome Good Girl, the un-scandalous one who bakes cookies with Taylor Swift. What I always find somewhat astonishing is that Karlie is somehow a major enough model to get magazine covers… and she’s not even modeling that much anymore! She’s currently a college student in NYC who models every now and then and she still manages to get magazine covers (with lens flares). I’m not complaining so much as I’m pointing out the weirdness of the situation from an editorial standpoint. I mean, why put Kloss on the cover at all? Especially since she’s discussing her choice to give up modeling, a choice that got her to model for Vogue UK. Some highlights from the interview:

She never wanted to model in the first place: “I didn’t grow up wanting to be a model. I didn’t think about fashion at all. That was all I wanted to be, a dancer. But, I just kept growing up and up and up! I lived in tights and a bun.”

Call her a nerd: “About two years ago I started to think about what happens to me next. I’m a 23-year-old model and I want to think less about my looks and more about my future, and that involves my brain. I want to run companies, have a business future. Call me a nerd, but I love coding, the language of computers. Understanding coding is a superpower. I met some tech entrepreneurs and they are billionaires through learning this stuff. I’m so competitive with myself and I am fascinated by the language of technology so I decided to be part of the conversation… I think it’s sexy to learn this stuff; it enables and it empowers both sexes.”

[From Vogue UK]

I admire her for discussing coding and wanting to go into business and “run companies.” A lot of younger women feel like they shouldn’t have those kinds of life goals, or discuss those goals openly. What bugs me is what always bugs me – that Karlie is filtering her desire to be more than a model through the “sexy” argument. It doesn’t matter if coding is sexy or not. Code because you want to code. Code because it’s your goal. Code because you have no shame about wanting to be a billionaire. Do not try to make coding “sexy.” That just makes me think you’re still looking for male approval of your goals.


Photos courtesy of Vogue UK.

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34 Responses to “Karlie Kloss is a ‘nerd’: ‘I want to run companies, have a business future’”

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  1. Pedro45 says:

    Did a professional photographer shoot the cover?! That is awful.

    • Boston Green Eyes says:

      Just came on here to post the same thing! That is one awfully plain, non-glamorous Vogue cover!

      • belle de jour says:

        Oy. Looks like a glamour shot someone had done at Sears.
        I now believe that even a color can radiate cheap cheese.

  2. Rainbow says:

    Boring. I don’t get her as a supermodel and the cover is terrible. She has a statuesque body but her face is bland.

    Code is sexy,OK.

  3. Alana says:

    Wow I have never heard of a model thinking that they are this brilliant woman that can do all sorts of other things except being photogenic. Right. Good for her and hope it works out but just because you like something that doesn’t mean you are good at it or will be successful. I can’t believe she thinks she is a nerd for liking coding. I really doubt she understands it and can do it so far from being a ” nerd”. I ‘d be impressed if you were going college or taking science coursework or whatever but just talking about a conversation and liking something. Ugh
    Don’t quit your day job

    • Korra says:

      I think she is doing quite a bit of science coursework. Which is why I feel like such a jackass for getting annoyed by her going on and on about how she loves coding. She just bugs the hell out of me for some reason. Swift association? Is that it?

      • Alana says:

        I had to rewrite this bc they say she is taking courses. If that’s true good for her if she actually going quit modeling and be serious about different career. She just came off sounding silly to me during a proper interview. I am in science and it takes a lot of hard work . A lot of people take coursework but that does’t mean they graduate or become successful at the field. It takes hard work and commitment. If she is serious she would have to quit modeling

      • korra says:

        @Alana Be bitter with me girl. I think it’s a major reason it bugs. I feel you on this ” Ah that sounds good I think I‘ll try it bc it makes me sound smart”. It’s awful but I can’t help but be cynical with the brand aspect of her career. I think what annoyed me was her insistence is that she’s trying to make it cool for young women and set a good example. Which fine but also UGHHHHHHHH!

        But I also think she’s on that phase of being so excited about things and her excitement is just uncontainable. I’ll wait. I want to see her stick to this and not be such a cold cynical bitch out the gate.

    • Cinnamon Date says:

      I think she enrolled in NYU in some coding degree. So has about 10,000,000 other coder-wannabes in various online and other courses. She’s a bit clueless about what a degree in coding can do for you.

      • WinnieCoopersMom says:

        Haha stuck in a dark lab/basement at some start-up with actual nerds, all plugged in with headphones on..and little model will be sitting there, plugging away at codes right along side them..dim lighting and all, for 40-50 hours/week of work. Along with a very normal (40-50k) paycheck after school. Yeah ok girl, just keep talking. *eye roll*

      • korra says:

        A comp sci degree can get you far. Especially for the average joe. It’s a certification that you at least have taken the necessary fundamentals to do a job that involves coding and opens a lot of doors. That’s why it’s extremely important that we get young women into comp sci degrees. It’s a very lucrative and in demand degree.

      • Cinnamon Date says:

        Comp science and engineering is different to coding. Coding is like the waiter delivering dishes to the table. The computer scientist is the floor manager telling the waiters what to do and managing the restaurant. Anyway, studying business is more important than actual coding if she wants to run an empire, like she said she wants to. You don’t need to know coding to direct a tech business.

  4. Korra says:

    Her whole thing about coding bugs me for some reason. I want really badly to like it and support her because I also code and involve myself in programs where young women are encouraged to code. But she annoys me. It feels like it enhances her brand as a model and it’s a major reason she does it. She doesn’t want to be seen as just sexy but brainy AND sexy.

    Maybe it’s the whole “romantic” way she talks about it and I just can’t because I’m a stone cold bitch. Whatever I’m going to be happy that it encourages young women to code.

    • Alana says:

      I agree. I feel like she has no idea what she is talking about and she just met with some actual intelligent people that talked about something important and not outfits so she is excited. Throughout the years all model say something similar and most of them never follow through or become successful in anything but saving their modeling money

      • WinnieCoopersMom says:

        And when the modeling eventually dries up, time for a reality show and upping the brand by slapping the name on some product (cleansing products, workout clothes etc)..and in 10 years, come out with a memoir. So predictable. So boring.

    • Cinnamon Date says:

      I think she’s overstating how much knowing how to code gets you ahead in the tech field. She sounds naive. And it’s not sexism talking.

  5. Hannah says:

    Finally a model who isn’t like a Hadid or Kardashian or some kind of celebrity or uber-posh offspring like Cara delwhatever gets a cover interview.

  6. COSquared says:

    She was actually a pretty stellar model in her teens, I was surprised by the switch to the commercial end. IIRC, she was one of Galliano’s favs & one of the most booked models 2008-2012/2013.

    • Cinnamon Date says:

      She’s a much better model than Gigi and Kendall and the other social media ones. She’s actually built like a “traditional” model.

      • teacakes says:

        Exactly, she’s a bit like Gisele that way – not traditionally pretty but can take some incredible pictures, and had an interesting runway walk – she brought more to the table as a model than just being skinny. Give me that over the Kendall Jenners and whatnots any day

  7. lucy2 says:

    I think she’s pretty, but that cover photo is really odd.
    Smart of her to look past her modeling career to the future. Too many don’t do that, and when it goes away they have nothing else.

  8. ... says:

    Since when is wanting to be a business tycoon ‘nerdy’…

    Anyways, her capitalist ambitions aren’t surprising since she’s best friends with Swift.

  9. Rachel says:

    Actually, it said the opposite to me. As in, telling girls/women to stop selling themselves short because being smart is sexy. Or, that to date, she’s used her “sexy” looks to get by, and now she realizes that her brain is sexy, too. Either way, I read nothing offensive it.

    I think it’s very naive to believe feeling sexy is about male approval. Yes, dressing like a sex pot or reducing your value to only being attractive to men (or women) has been and still is too prevalent in our culture. But to me, that’s not at all what being sexy is about. Strong, smart women still want to feel sexy. That feeling is not necessarily about how attractive they may appear to others, but more about how they feel about themselves. In fact, I think one could argue that people who do try too hard to be sexy to others do so because they are missing that internalization of sexiness, so they seek it from others.

    This comment has gotten a little long for me, but the short of it is, I don’t think being a smart, strong, empowered woman is exclusive of feeling sexy or that feeling sexy necessarily means seeking the approval of anyone but yourself.

  10. Jegede says:

    Terrible cover.

    But good for Karlie. She still gets the covers and campaigns, the big ones.

    British Vogue especially is very UKcentric, and rarely do they put foreign models on the cover.

    You have to be a cross over name, hence Gisele and Kate Upton being the only other recent 2 of the ‘post supermodel’ era to be have more than 1 UK Vogue cover.

    • teacakes says:

      Really? Vogue UK puts plenty of non-British models on the cover, when they do have models on the cover.

      And as for the claim about Gisele and the other girl being the only non-UK post-supermodels to score repeat covers in recent years – I didn’t know Lara Stone, Daria Werbowy, Natalia Vodianova, Freja Beha Erichsen, or even Gemma Ward back in the day, were British. Sure Vogue UK always makes room for one Kate Moss cover in a year but they actually cast foreign models often enough that anyone has a shot. Though Upton was picked more as a celebrity than a model, per se. Not much to see by way of modelling, there.

  11. Cassie says:

    She could do what other models do.

    Gisele is an example to follow. Modelling for world famous brands, long term contracts of shared profits with fashion companies in Brazil, her own brand of skincare products, several real estate properties she bought to let and a hotel.

  12. Claire says:

    I feel like she isn’t slowing down on her modelling at all – she’s in every magazine at least 5 times. She just isn’t calling as much attention to it as some of them.

  13. I Choose Me says:

    What bugs me is what always bugs me – that Karlie is filtering her desire to be more than a model through the “sexy” argument. It doesn’t matter if coding is sexy or not. Code because you want to code. Code because it’s your goal. Code because you have no shame about wanting to be a billionaire. Do not try to make coding “sexy.” That just makes me think you’re still looking for male approval of your goals.

    Girl preach! I feel like I need to shake a tambourine. That’s how much I’m feeling the latter part of this post.

    • Cinnamon Date says:

      She’s been in the industry too long and thinks you need to sexualise even education to get your point across.

  14. Cinnamon Date says:

    Coding’s not going to be important in about 10 years because everyone will be able to design programs without knowing a word of code (thanks to software making programming as easy as Canva is for graphic design). It’s good to know some coding if you’re going to be in tech business (and essential if you’re going to be a developer), but she’s overstating it. Sheryl Sandberg – I’m 99% sure – doesn’t code. Sames goes for Marissa Mayer and the other women in tech. Business skills are another thing. And she obviously missed out on the most important one: filtering your thoughts so you don’t sound like a complete airhead. Her boyfriend (fiance?) is some startup guy so she thinks she’s legit. Sorry, doing a course in coding won’t make you a tech billionaire.

  15. WinnieCoopersMom says:

    It would be one thing if she was like “I really admire the tech world and what people are able to accomplish by coding,” but I think the tone she is making instead is that she is going to quit modeling so she can spend her days building a company by coding. Um yeah right. LOL she talks like a 16 year old. So naive and clueless. Kind of like Jayden Smith who says he will go to MIT and set up an office. These celebrities are so stuck in the bubble, they truly do not understand how the real world operates.

  16. Naddie says:

    Honestly? She sounds like a pretentious idiot. And for your mother’s sake, why the hell every little thing a woman does gotta have the “sexy” word on it?