It’s a particularly tempestuous evening during New York Fashion Week—freezing rain, slush—but indoors, at Stuart Weitzman’s campaign launch party in Chelsea, it’s warm and serene. There are shoes everywhere, boots and stilettos and platforms in all shades of nude (this season’s theme); plus neon lights and scented votives to give everything a soft fluorescence. And then there’s Kendall Jenner, the new face of the brand, a vision in champagne pink and shiny gold earrings. “I’m an LA girl so I’m over the cold,” she says, pulling off her long black gloves to dash off a quick text message on her phone. She seems relaxed, in part because this season she’s one step removed from the frenzy of New York Fashion Week. “It’s definitely a bit easier when I’m not doing shows,” she says.
The new Weitzman campaign features her—the second-youngest of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, in case you had lost track—alongside other stylish women, actress and singer Yang Mi, model Jean Campbell, and Jenner’s old friend Willow Smith. “We’ve always been close. [My sister] Kylie and I are really close with her brother [Jaden], and her mom and my mom are really good friends,” she says. “She’s my Scorpio sister.” In the campaign video, the four of them dance to a Migos song in high heels that would make most of us fall on our faces. “I love being in a flat, but heels are so fun. I’m a tomboy, but when I was really young, I would steal my mom’s heels all the time—there’s videos of me when I was two or three years old running around in heels. And me and Kylie used to do runway competitions,” she says. “I’ve had good practice.”
When, like Jenner, you are one of the most photographed women on the planet, a trademark strut comes in handy. She is a model not only on catwalks, but also sidewalks, with paparazzi who follow her every move. “I’m fighting myself constantly—some days, I really don’t care what I look like. Most days I want to look nice. But it’s my version of looking nice, so it doesn’t put that much pressure on me to please other people,” she says. Right now, she loves streetwear (which she says defines “Gen Z style”) and looks inspired by the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. She dreads the prospect of boho ever coming back into style and likes to mess around with androgyny. “I like mixing masculine and feminine. Dressing more grungy and boyish is comfortable and I love to be comfortable. When I was a kid, I wore only boys clothes. There were these long cargo pants you could unzip at the knees and they became capris—those were my jam. But sometimes I want to be girly! And my glam team is always trying to convince me to be more girly—we get in full battles,” she says laughing. She’s still somewhat surprised by the online fascination with her personal style, citing a recent off-duty look that was described in some corners of the internet as avant-garde and adventurous. “I woke up really early and was going to set, not expecting anyone to see me. And all of a sudden, I’m like, Oh my god it’s all over the internet,” she says. “I was literally just half awake pulling pants on putting shoes on—I saw those photos and I was like, Fuck.”
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Lately, Jenner has been turning up courtside at basketball games, too. “At games, I want to look sleeker and cleaner. I like pulling my hair back, I like having a tiny little top on, whether it’s a turtleneck or just something small,” says the model who is reportedly dating NBA star Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers. She made fashion news at a game in January with her sister Kourtney, who showed up in a vintage Jean Paul Gaultier tee that Jenner had worn last year. “I’m a vintage addict. I bought that shirt at What Goes Around Comes Around and Kourtney was at my house saying ‘I don’t have anything to wear! Can I go through your closet?’ She pulled that, and I was like, I’m warning you, I’ve already worn it and I’m sure people are going to talk about it but you can definitely wear it if you want!”
And on the topic of twinning style moments, a recent experiment with bangs had fans drawing comparisons between Jenner and another close family member. “The bangs weren’t real. It’s hard to do without someone calling out that it’s inspired by my mom. The second I put them on, I’m fully Kris Jenner. That’s why I don’t think I could ever cut bangs,” she says. And what style advice has she learned from the matriarch of the family? “Just her effort—how much she puts into outfits. On Thanksgiving, which was just our family at one of our houses, super chill, I was wearing jeans and a sweater, and my mom pulls up in this full Versace head-to-toe suit—tights with the jewelry and everything—and I’m like, You’re amazing for that, because you put a lot of energy and time into it and I’m just wearing jeans.”
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When it comes to self-care however, Jenner has an approach that’s all her own. “I love sound baths so much. I completely zone out—a lot of the times I’ll fall asleep,” says the model, who has been open about struggles with anxiety. Though she does have a few relaxation hacks that are easier to take on the road. “I just binged The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Holy moly—I’m obsessed,” she admits.
Jenner is soon headed to Europe for the rest of Fashion Month, and has a mental packing list ready. “You always need a good pair of jeans because you can wear those a million times in one trip. I think a turtleneck because it’s cold everywhere. A good pump is always really necessary, and I’m really into a tiny heel, like a kitten heel. I would rock a mini heel with jeans or slacks,” says Jenner. But even the prospect of a busy European season doesn’t phase her—she hopes to remain, as she is right now, the calm center in a storm. “You’ll go a couple months of chill-ness, working here and there, and then there are months where you’re like, Woah, this is a lot,” she says. “But it’s cool—I don’t mind it.”
Originally published on American Vogue.