In Conversation with Karlie Kloss

Karlie Kloss first worked with DVF in 2009 and now she’s back as a sultry secret agent in the Fall 2015 campaign. Here, the indefatigable supermodel (and so much more) talks multi-tasking, supporting other women and words to live by.

You are a model, entrepreneur, coder, student, philanthropist and prominent member of the world’s most famous girl squad. That might make you the ultimate multi-tasker. What’s your secret?

The trick for me is to spend time on the projects I am passionate about with people I care about. It’s funny though, the more I have on my plate, the more I find ways to manage it all, like taking advantage of every spare minute I have by handling emails and calls while in the make-up chair. It’s also important for me to take care of myself by scheduling time to exercise, eat well, and sleep in order to be energized for all that each day brings.

You’ve just launched a youtube channel called Klossy. What can followers expect to see there?

I’m beyond excited that Klossy is officially live and can’t wait to share more videos. I love being able to share a unique perspective on the amazing things I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of, as well as introduce you to the incredible people who help make them happen through the lens of my own camera. I look forward to seeing how the channel will evolve and incorporate collaborations as Klossy continues to grow.

Diane often says, “Generosity is the best investment,” and you have worked on several philanthropic collaborations yourself. Can you tell us a little about the causes closest to your heart?

Giving back was instilled in me from an early age and it’s something that will always be part of my life. This past year I started the Kode With Karlie Scholarship with the Flatiron School to share access to hands-on, technical education with young women and girls who are excited about the opportunity to design and build our world through code. One of the best parts for me is seeing these diverse, young women immediately coming together and using their experiences to build a network of coding communities in their hometowns.

For you, fall brings fashion week and…your first semester at NYU’s Gallatin School. What do you plan to study there?

I am excited about getting back in the classroom. My program at NYU’s Gallatin School is great because I’ll be able to explore my interests over a range of subjects and refine my academic focus over time. Right now, I’m just going to try a little bit of all my favorite topics.

Diane often says, “It’s all about body language,” and you have credited your success as a model to your early days as a ballerina. What can you tell us about the connection between confidence and how you move?

Ballet taught me so much about body movement and control: how to be self-aware, bring life to a picture, and apply discipline to your work. For me, ballet was the best training for modeling as it taught me to pay attention to what my body is doing and how to be in control. Now I know how to re-position myself in those moments when I need an extra boost of confidence.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Dream big and then run at opportunities to make those dreams a reality. No matter what, it’s never a waste of time if you’re doing something you love.

And the best piece of advice you would give to other women?

I’d pass along that same advice to work hard at what you love to do. And I’d add: help other people do the same. We can do far more together than we ever could alone.

You are known for your support of other women, from your female friendships to encouraging young girls to learn coding. Who are some women who inspire you or who have supported you in your career?

My mom and my three sisters have always supported me and encouraged me throughout my career and life. I’ve also always looked up to strong women in my industry, like Christy Turlington. She’s made an incredible impact and really used her platform to help others.

How was the experience of filming the DVF Secret Agent film with Peter Lindbergh? Do you have a favorite moment from the set? How did you go about channeling the DVF woman?

It was such an honor to have the one and only, divine Diane with us on set for the shoot all day. I was simply inspired by her energy, her elegance and her attitude. Diane has an extraordinary presence, intelligence and strength. She and Peter are both truly living legends. I loved just simply being on set with Diane, Peter and Garren, and listening to the iconic fashion moments and memories that they would reminisce about throughout the day.

Finally, Diane is all about mantras. Do you have any words that you live by?

“The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself.” I love this DVF quote. Diane is such a strong independent and empowering woman. I certainly live by these words.


Behind the Lens with Peter Lindbergh

In this exclusive interview, legendary fashion photographer and “DVF Secret Agent” director Peter Lindbergh talks strong women, storytelling, and his favorite on-set moment.

You have photographed Diane before, and spoken about one of her portraits as a personal favorite. How did photographing Diane herself inform your work on the DVF campaign?

To work on a campaign is very different from shooting a personal portrait, because the campaign must represent at least something of the brand identity, while a personal portrait should be totally free from any obligations.

You and Diane both approach models as women first, with their own strength and personalities. Tell us about your relationship with Karlie, and how you work together.

Needless to point out, there should never be another reason to work with anyone, model or any other human being, than her or his personality. Blank and beautiful faces are of no interest. Karlie has an extraordinary energy and strength and is amazingly passionate about getting the best possible images.

To your mind, what is it about Karlie that makes her such a successful model? And the ideal DVF woman?

She has an incredible drive, her motivation together with a passion for her craft, very concentrated at any moment of the day instead of a short attention span, astonishing freshness together with an understanding for playing roles… these are quite a lot of good points in one person… all these characteristics are making her the perfect DVF woman. She seems to be, in a very active way, integrated in the world of today.

Tell us about the woman in this film that Karlie portrays, the “DVF Secret Agent” and how you approached telling her story, especially in the mix of film and still photography?

She is a fast-walking, good-looking and active secret agent, and we tried to tell the story not too well explained, to leave some space for the viewers’ own imagination. The stills resulted from what we shot on film.

What is your favorite on-set memory from the shoot day? 

The scene with the security guards was really satisfying because different from my zillion controls at JFK, this time I could push the security guards around and could order them to do what I wanted them to do!


Diane on the Campaign Inspiration

Diane dishes on the Fall collection, the new campaign, and why Karlie Kloss is the perfect secret agent.

Tell us a little bit about the inspiration for the Fall 2015 Collection:

The Fall Collection is called Seduction and it was really all about the dual nature of the woman…by day she commands her world, by night she inspires fantasy ! So there are these great power dresses for day with polished coats and at night she slips into lace dresses and sexy rompers.

And how did that translate into the campaign?

Well, as we got closer to filming the campaign we felt that the new DVF Secret Agent was really the perfect symbol for this woman…a practical and sleek tote by day, a sexy zip off clutch by night. We wanted to highlight the versatility of that and also capture the alluring and mysterious spirit of the woman…this femme fatale who also happens to get things done. So we cast the magnetic Karlie Kloss with the DVF Secret Agent as her ultimate accomplice…and we worked with Peter Lindbergh to bring it all to life in a film that is serious and sexy, but also playful and exciting.

Why was Karlie Kloss the perfect woman to bring the DVF Secret Agent to life?

Like the DVF Secret Agent, Karlie is a true multi-tasker…she is a model, yes, but she is also a student, a philanthropist, an entrepreneur. She is so many things and that is really what we wanted to communicate about the bag and the woman…Karlie also has an effortless beauty and a joie de vivre that is so important !

You also have a long-standing relationship with photographer Peter Lindbergh. What was it about his style that made you think of him for this campaign?

Peter is amazing…he knows how to make it all about the woman. With DVF and with Peter, the woman is the center of everything…so I knew that we could work together to tell a beautiful and compelling story.

What are your favorite pieces in the collection?

I am obsessed with the DVF Secret Agent bag, of course…and I also love the new Seduction wrap in ivory wool with a sheer lace back.

If you were to describe the campaign in three words, what would they be?

Sexy, mysterious, alluring !


That Secret Agent Beauty Look

It should come as no surprise that Karlie’s campaign beauty look was sultry and effortless yet totally glam. Dressed in looks from the Fall 2015 collection, and personifying a stylish secret agent, Karlie’s makeup, created by Mark Carrasquillo, was a mix of a subtle smoky eye and an all-natural glow. But as Karlie dashed through scenes, it was those soft waves that stole the spotlight. We caught up with hair stylist extraordinaire Garren to get all the secrets!

How would you describe the inspiration for Karlie’s hair for “DVF Secret Agent”?

I have known Diane for many years and I know the kind of woman she is. And I know that Karlie is a strong woman in her own right and I wanted the hair to fit Karlie’s character but also have the DNA of Diane—without it being a copy. It’s about the freedom of having sexy hair with a soft wave she could put her hands through, and it would be free.

And how did you achieve that look? 

Being that Karlie has hair to her shoulders, I was able to give it a soft wave, a natural wave, and I used some of my new products from R+Co, which were the Dallas thickening spray and the dry shampoo, which gave the hair the piecey, lustrous look without looking coiffed, so she could put her hands through it, let it fall over one eye and all of that…you came out with a strong woman knowing who she is and an active woman—not a woman who is posing.

Any tips or products you’d recommend for recreating the look at home? 

You have to know your product for the right person. Karlie has fine hair, but a lot of it. She has a small natural wave; to encourage it I used the Dallas, and the dry shampoo adds volume. If I was doing Diane, with very curly hair, it would be a moisturizing texturizing shampoo like Atlantis, and a motorcycle gel to keep the curl and let it dry naturally.


Uncover the Secrets of the DVF Fall 2015 Campaign

Join us on location with Diane, legendary photographer Peter Lindbergh and supermodel Karlie Kloss to see the best moments (and mishaps) from the shoot that brought the DVF Secret Agent story to life!


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