In 2006, at the age of 14, Kloss posed for photographer David Leslie Anthony for a 12-page editorial and cover for Scene Magazine in Chicago. Elite Chicago (now Factor Women) then forwarded these tear sheets to Elite NY, who then brought Kloss to New York.
Kloss on the runway for Zac Posen, Fall 2008 in New York Fashion Week
After four years of being represented by Next Model Management, Kloss is now signed with IMG Models. "Karlie has an immense and loyal following, and we welcome the opportunity to help
expand her relationships through endorsements as well as our global network that reaches beyond fashion", said Ivan Bart, IMG Models' senior vice president and managing director.
She was named the best model by People magazine in 2008. Kloss, labeled her famed runway walk a "moody gait". Molly Sims, whom she considers a mentor, told New York she thinks Kloss will still "do well at 30" because of her "classic look".
She has been in advertisements for Jean Paul Gaultier, Donna Karan, Nina Ricci, Chloé, Lacoste, Sportmax, Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Elie Saab, Dolce & Gabbana, Gap, Bally Shoe, Bergdorf Goodman, Pringle of Scotland, Dior, Hermes, Oscar de la Renta, Sonia Rykiel, Aquascutum, Topshop, Eryn Brinie, Uniqlo, Omnia Jade, Lord & Taylor, Barneys New York, American Eagle, and Victoria's Secret PINK. Kloss is the face of the Marc Jacobs fragrance Lola. She has walked for numerous designers in New York, London, Milan and Paris, including Shiatzy Chen, Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, Givenchy, Gucci, Valentino, Louis Vuitton and Versace, Elie Saab and appeared in editorials for American and Korean W, American Elle, Allure, i-D, French and Japanese Numéro, Vanity Fair, Dazed & Confused, and American, Australian, Italian, French, British, Korean, German, Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, Portuguese, Teen, and Latin AmericanVogue magazines. Her covers include Italian Vogue in October 2009, January 2010, and December 2011, Vogue Turkey, Vogue Portugal, Vogue China in February, August, and November in 2010, British Vogue in September 2012, Vogue Korea and American Teen Vogue, alongside Chanel Iman and Ali Michael in February 2008 and by herself in May 2010. She has ventured into TV when she appeared in Season Four, Episode 1 of Gossip Girl as herself. She became a muse for fashion designer John Galliano and has appeared in Dior and John Galliano campaigns and opened both shows, Christian Dior Haute Couture and Dior resort shows from spring/summer 2010. In the spring/summer 2011 Season, she opened ten shows and closed eight.
2011–present: Recognition and success
Kloss on the runway for Anna Sui, Fall 2011 in New York Fashion Week
Her runway walk, one of the most unique, is often described as powerful. In February 2011, supermodel Tyra Banks stated that Kloss was one of her favorite models because of her "unique, atypical beauty".
In 2011 Kloss renewed her contract with Christian Dior for the third season in a row. LIFE Magazine photographed Kloss for the cover of a special print issue handed out during New York Fashion Week in September 2011. The photo story inside the issue was photographed during the summer of 2011 and shows Kloss at the couture shows in Paris, in New York City, and in Saint Louis, her hometown. The same year, she made her debut in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
In 2012 Kloss was featured on the September covers of British Vogue, Japanese Vogue, Harper's Bazaar Russia, and Numéro. She appeared in the campaign ads of Juicy Couture, Stefanel, Elie Saab, and Jean Paul Gaultier. She co-hosted with the revival of the MTV series House of Style with fellow model Joan Smalls. She also appeared in that year's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
In 2013, Kloss was the face of Donna Karan, Lacoste, and Lanvin campaigns. Kloss worked with Victoria's Secret on their 2013 summer swimwear video. She was also the red carpet host of the 2013 MTV Movie Awards pre-show. In April, Kloss starred alongside Daria Strokous, Monika Jagaciak and Iris Strubegger in Louis Vuitton's Alma bag campaign.
In 2013, Kloss was named as one of the new ambassadors for Coach, Inc. and stars in the accessory maker's Fall 2013 campaign.
Her hobbies include baking cookies, biking, and ballet.
In collaboration with Momofuku Milk Bar, she created a special recipe called Karlie's Kookies, which she sold in DKNY Soho during Fashion's Night Out in New York City, with proceeds benefiting hungry children around the world (through FEED Projects). She calls it a "Perfect 10 Kookie", because it contains dark chocolate and almond oat (dairy-free, gluten-free, and no sugar added)HERO DYD