From Cookies to Coding: How Karlie Kloss Rules Like a Boss
Some might think the almost supernaturally long legs, high cheekbones, katrillion dollars and an equally long-legged famous BFF might be responsible for supermodel Karlie Kloss’s impish I’m-theez-far-from-total-world-domination grin. But though it’s true Karlie’s got the world by the ba–er, tail, her success isn’t just about legs and luck. Her good genes gave the girl brains as well as beauty, and her fierce, like a bossery appears to know no bounds. Turns out Karlie’s not only a knockout, she’s also a designer, philanthropist, cookie entrepreneur and coding advocate. As envious as her have-it-allness is, we’ve just *got* to root for her; she doesn’t rest on her lovely looks laurels (like this writer sooo would) but is constantly looking for new entrepre-tunities to better herself and others.
She dipped her supertoe in philanthropy and business with a cookie collaboration with chef Christina Tosi for Momofuku Milk Bar. The vocal vegetarian (another reason to girl crush on her) created special vegan dairy- and gluten-free snacks dubbed Karlie’s Kookies, with proceeds benefiting hungry children in New York City and around the world through FEED Projects. (Each tin of 10 cookies gives 60 schoolchildren lunch.) In another socially conscious collab, Karlie co-designed eyeglasses for Warby Parker with proceeds benefitting Edible Schoolyard NYC, a Brooklyn school where the kids, grow, prepare and eat food together, learning about sustenance and self-sufficiency along the way. She didn’t just lend her name and gorgeous face to the venture; the supermodel became hands-on involved—and loved it.
“Being in the office, seeing the office culture, seeing the business from the inside out. That’s something I don’t normally have exposure to,” explained Karlie. “The way that the business model is structured, and the way that they operate is that as the company grows, the more successful the company becomes, the more glasses you’re able to sell, the more they’re able to donate. It’s sort of an incredible win-win for everyone. It gives purpose in a different kind of way than just profits.”
And Kloss is no superfly fly-by-nightreprener either. She took a week-long executive education course at Harvard Business School called, “The Business of Media, Entertainment, and Sports.” In an interview with FORTUNE magazine, Karlie gushed, “I got to interact with the other students, who happened to be executives with 30 years under their belts in their field. All of us were in the business, entertainment, or media industries. It was interesting for me because I got to hear the perspectives from the corporate side of it, the people who work within companies.”
Lately, Karlie has set her sights on going to school full-time. She’s heading to NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and eventually hopes to make it to Harvard Business School for more than just a 2-week course. “I’m a very disciplined student,” says Kloss, “When I’m in that environment, I’m totally focused.”
Calling herself “an entrepreneur at heart,” the international kazillionaire model has set her sights on computer programming, saying, “It doesn’t matter if you’re a fashion model or high school student, understanding code is so important because it’s the language that runs our world!”
Karlie understands learning to code is important on a variety of levels, and so should we all. At present, only a dinky 12% of computer science degrees go to women. But by 2020, U.S. universities won’t be able to fill even a third of the country’s 1.4 million computing positions with qualified graduates. Sheroes like Rashma Saujani and Kimberly Bryant have founded camps and programs, like Girls Who Code and Black Girls Code, to try to close the gender gap by capturing girls’ interest at a young age.
Karlie joined their forces and continued to put the super in ‘supermodel’ by launching the Kode with Karlie scholarship for 20 teen girls. Those interested in the two-week summer program in New York City submitted 60-second videos explaining why they would like to learn to code in the same classes Karlie took. “Code is only going to continue to play a major role in defining our future,” she explains in the program’s promo video. “I think it’s crucial that young women learn to code as early as possible to ensure that we as young women have a voice and a stake in what the world looks like.”
See what I mean? Karlie Kloss is just impossible to hate. But luckily, with role models like her, and sites like LikeaBossGirls, she’s not hard to emulate!