Kendall Jenner just nabbed the most important cover of her life at 20 years old.
The high fashion model is front and center on the September issue of Vogue, the most coveted issue of the most revered publication of our time. Posing in barely-there makeup and a Gucci pantsuit with huge pink ribbons, Kendall is just as flawless as we imagine she’d be when this day came.
Inside, she talks to Jonathan Van Meter about feeling different from her Kardashian sisters, building her modeling career brick by brick, being a loner, and doing her best to avoid that pesky “famous for being famous” reputation. All in all, Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, and Kylie may want to glam out every minute of every hour, but that’s never been Kendall’s steeze.
On being different from her sisters:
“I’ve always been super different from all my sisters, especially my Kardashian sisters. They’ve always been into the glam thing and dressing up every day and being in the thick of it. Part of me loves that, but at the same time, I love dressing down and having my private life. It’s almost, like, empowering to know that no one knows we’re sitting here right now—because it’s not usually like this. Every day, I have to find a way to escape; I have to go borrow someone else’s car. Sometimes it takes me an hour to figure out how to get rid of these guys who have been following me all day. And the second that I feel it getting the better of me, I have to go chill myself out—go take a bath or something to, like, disconnect from it. It keeps you real and sane and humble.”
On being a pleasant surprise and having thick skin:
“People say a lot of what they think, and it’s not always positive. And we never say anything. We just take it. And then when people meet us, they’re pleasantly surprised. Because we aren’t what people think. One of the best lessons I ever learned from my sisters is not to take everything so seriously. Just leave it alone—it will pass in a week. That’s how I grew up. My sisters are so fucking strong, and they taught me and my little sister to just toughen up and not let it affect us. You know what’s real.”
On distancing herself from her family moniker:
“Two years ago, when I first started this, I thought: This is going to be so embarrassing. No one is going to accept me, and it’s going to be a complete failure.” Not exactly. But it did take a pop-culture maven like Marc Jacobs to jump-start Kendall’s career by casting her in his Fall 2014 show (and then in every show and two ad campaigns since), thereby giving the rest of the fashion world permission to think of her as cool. “We wanted to book her on her merit as a model,” says Jacobs, “not because she’s a Kardashian. Every bit of her success is a testament to her hard work and her passion.”
It is also a testament to one very wise decision she made early on. “Marc invited my whole family to that first show, and I was like, ‘I love you guys, but can you please just not come?’ I was trying so hard to be taken seriously, like, ‘Guys: This is not a joke or a stunt; this is what I want to do with my life.’ I had to prove that I could do it.” She sighs deeply, the sense of relief that it all worked out as palpable as if it just happened yesterday. “And now I feel like I’m a part of something. I feel I have accomplished something that is mine.”
On the worst thing she did as a child:
By the time Kris appears with the main course, I have just asked Kendall what was the worst thing she did as a kid, and now she puts the question to her mother. “She would come to us every night at ten and go, ‘OK, Mom, I’m ready for bed now,’ ” Kris says. “The perfect child. She never really did anything bad.”
“The only thing I can think of is that I would sneak out at night and go sleep at my boyfriend’s house,” Kendall says. “You snuck out at night? That is so Khloé of you,” Kris says, turning to head back into the kitchen. “I was more scared of Dad—with boys and stuff,” Kendall tells me. “I was definitely hiding it more from him. But I knew if I told her she might tell him.”
On modeling her career after supermodel Cindy Crawford:
“This is a career—I want this to last for a long time,” she says. “Not that I won’t venture out and do other things, but I want this to be like a Cindy Crawford thing: I want it to last until I am her age. That’s why I love her so much and why I look up to her: Her life now is something that I want my life to be like.”
Kendall has met Linda and Christy and Naomi, too, but the reason she admires Cindy is that she has spent time with her family, been to her house a few times. “I love her daughter,” she says. “She’s the sweetest and so ridiculously beautiful. She looks exactly like Cindy, minus the mole. It’s actually the creepiest but coolest thing ever. That’s what I want. A little mini-me daughter? How cute is that?”
“She’s not giving her power away,” Crawford says of Kendall. “She’s already light-years ahead of where I was at her age. It took me a while to own that.”
Head over to Vogue for more photos and the full interview. Plus, a quick look at Kendall celebrating the issue above. Congrats, Kendall!
SOURCE: Vogue | PHOTO CREDIT: Vogue, Instagram, Getty