The 19-year-old began modeling at the tender age of 14 and is currently one of the most in-demand mannequins in the fashion industry.
“I was always the tall girl in everything in my life. Ballet, I was six inches above the whole company and there were no boys in St Louis doing ballet; much less six foot, taller than me, to be able to lift me, so I never had a partner.I was always the soloist,” she revealed in a screen test for W magazine. “I think taking ballet is one of the best things a girl can do, period. It teaches you discipline and strength and being aware of your body, and I think that’s helped a lot in this crazy career that I have. I think it’s helped me a lot to be aware of details in a photograph, you know, your fingertips or whatever.”
Karlie also recalled what she refers to as “the most terrifying moment of her career”.
Aged 16, she was asked to show off her dance skills by performing ballet moves in a new designer store while wearing the label’s creations.
While the beauty is a ballet pro, she found the experience rather awkward.
“Carine Roitfeld asked if I would dance ballet around the new Prada store and I was like, ‘Sure, OK’. It was the collection that was all very snake-inspired and there I was, snaking around the store in a little leotard and told myself, ‘OK Karlie, just do it.’ It was actually one of the most terrifying things I have ever done. I’m not sure if it was a good impression or if people were just like, ‘What the heck is this girl doing?’” she laughed.
However, life as a model also has its perks and Karlie got to wear a couture dress for to her high school prom.
But she towered over her escort all night, who was almost a foot shorter than the statuesque beauty.
“I wore Dior to my prom and it was so much fun. My date was hysterical; he was about eleven inches shorter than me, maybe a solid foot. And I bought him a tie to match, so, you know, we were a really cute couple,” she said.