CANNES — Catching up with Karlie Kloss in Cannes this year was as challenging as getting a ticket to the screening of a movie competing for the Palme d’Or. The Chicago-born model had appointments scheduled in ten-minute intervals, much like a Hollywood starlet.
“This is my first official year as a L’Oréal spokesperson [she signed the deal last fall], so it’s been a busy week with shooting commercials, walking red carpets, going to fabulous parties,” she laughs, towering 6 feet 4 inches tall in her Manolo Blahnik sandals and a navy knitted dress by Miu Miu.
At only 22, Kloss also co-chaired amfAR’s annual Cinema Against AIDS gala this week, alongside Harvey Weinstein, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sharon Stone and other Hollywood heavyweights, putting her transformation skills as a model to a good cause, as she helped sell a photo shoot with Mario Testino for 350,000 euros.
Kloss is a real entrepreneur. Although she refers to her gluten-free cookie business as “more of a passion project,” Karlie’s Kookies has donated over 650,000 school lunches, since it launched in 2012. “Yes, I want to grow it bigger. We are in the works of figuring out how to make it into a proper business. My sister has celiac [disease] – that’s the reason why I started baking gluten-free [and vegan]. Because it’s tough to find a good-tasting cookie without gluten. They are all very dry, but it’s actually more fun to cook without butter and sugar, it’s like a science experiment, and I am a closeted nerd at heart,” she said.
Having completed a two-week course at Harvard, which consisted of “reading a bunch of case studies about the business of sports, media and entertainment,” Kloss is gearing up to start at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study this fall. “Eventually I would like to make it to Harvard Business School. I’m a very disciplined student. When I’m in that environment, I’m totally focused,” she said.
Does this mean that her days as a model are numbered? “Nooo. I’m 22, I’m just getting started,” she insisted. “Role models of mine like Christie Turlington or Cindy Crawford, they work even today after incredible careers — and kids. I want to do this job for a very long time, but I see education as a way to invest in myself, and diversify and be able to think about how to go much further.”
For now, she’s venturing into film. “Zoolander 2” is up next. She could probably teach Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson a cat move or two, but her hunch is it will probably be the other way around. “I watched that movie so many times. It’s a classic. I don’t know how much of a film debut it will be, but it’s a fun project. It will be a mutual give and take,” she said with a laugh.
Kloss admitted she still gets nervous before making public appearances that come with her multiple roles, but said her secret weapon is a good makeup artist. “As a model when you walk on that red carpet and everybody is shouting your name it’s incredibly overwhelming, you wanna know that when you step out there you feel like the most confident beautiful version of yourself possible. I’m human, I definitely don’t feel like that every day.”
According to L’Oréal’s new ambassador, it all comes down to technique. “It’s a very intimate relationship between a makeup artist and his subject. I’m all about the brow. I have my mom’s brow, very arched, and there is one product that I’m obsessed with — it’s the Brow Artist Genius Kit. It’s great because it has wax and powder, which sounds kind of crazy, but if you wanna fill in the shape a little bit more or extend it you can use this — it has little tweezers, a little brush, everything you need in this travel-size kit,” she said, demonstrating the effect on the back of her hand.
Still, her top beauty philosophy remains sleep. “It’s my favorite indulgence. I like to spoil myself by taking a day off and sleep in, it’s the best and most generous thing you can do for yourself. Sleep is such a big part of one’s beauty. Also, when you eat healthy, balanced food, it comes through in your skin and your nails,” noted Kloss.
When it comes to product, the model swears on her BB cream. “Even if I’m just running out the door to grab a coffee, I always love to have a little bit of coverage, and L’Oreal’s has lot of SPF and is also moisturizing. It’s easy and quick and I like to be fast out the door. I spend lots of time in the makeup chair, so when I have a day off I like to keep it simple.”