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On Thursday morning Vogue announced its September cover star, Kendall Jenner. Though the model landed on the fashion bible’s special subscribers-only issue in March, this is the first time she covers a monthly edition of American Vogue — and for the all-important September issue no less.
Photographed by Mert and Marcus, Jenner, 20, — who is described on the cover as “The Face That Launched a Billion Likes” — poses in a Gucci suit sans bra. (This is a woman who is known for going bra-less and embracing her nipple ring, after all.)
Taking to Instagram to express her excitement, she wrote, “in a room with a bunch of people I love, looking at this cover made me cry. I F—KING DID IT. SEPTEMBER VOGUE. this is the coolest thing ever! can’t thank you enough Anna, for giving me the honor.”
Jenner’s professional modeling career spans just three years, though she’s been famous her whole life, as the daughter of momager Kris Jenner and Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner, the sister of Kylie Jenner, Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian and a recurring character on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, which debuted in 2007.
In November 2013, she signed with modeling agency The Society Management, a New York-based branch of Elite World, and seemed to quickly cut through any misgivings the notoriously insular fashion industry may have had about outsider reality TV star status. Here’s a look at the key moments that led to her rapid rise.
First Magazine Cover (You Gotta Start Somewhere)
Jenner landed her first cover for American Cheerleader magazine at age 15. According to the then-aspiring model, cheerleading helped her get over her shyness. The sport probably helped with her career, too, considering how confident she appears on the runways.
First Fashion Magazine Cover (Teen Edition)
Jenner transitioned from tween to teen fashion stardom when she appeared on Teen Vogue‘s March 2012 cover, alongside sister Kylie. It was an auspicious image; Teen Vogue is the JV team to Vogue‘s varsity.
First Runway Ever, Technically
Long before becoming a runway favorite of Karl Lagerfeld and Riccardo Tisci, Jenner showed off her strut for Sherri Hill, an American formal wear designer with a penchant for pageant dresses. The model made her runway debut for Hill’s spring 2012 show, in which she appeared in embellished gowns and metallic mini dresses ready made for prom.
RUNWAY DEBUT: Kendall Jenner on the catwalk for Sherri Hill’s spring 2012 collection. (Photos: Getty Images)
First Major League Runway
It wasn’t until she walked Marc Jacobs’ show in February 2014 that the industry started to really take notice. “I just recently turned 18, so this [Marc Jacobs show] is my big kickoff to start and grow my career,” she told Into the Gloss at the time. Since then, the 20-year-old has gone on to walk the runways of Givenchy, Chanel, Fendi, Diane von Furstenberg, Alexander Wang, Tommy Hilfiger and Dolce & Gabbana. She most recently opened and closed Balmain’s fall 2016 show.
FREE THE NIPPLE: Kendall Jenner on the catwalk for Marc Jacobs’ fall 2014 collection. (Photos: Getty Images)
A huge part of the model’s appeal to brands is due to her social media reach. Since joining Instagram on July 12, 2011, she’s amassed 63.1 million followers (and counting). She held the top spot of most-liked photo on the app with her heart-shaped hair image, garnering more than 2.4 million likes (it has since grown to 3.6 million), beating big sis Kim Kardashian’s wedding picture. Jenner teased Kardashian about it, writing on Twitter, “take that KimYe!” However, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez has since taken away her Insta crown with her their images (Gomez posted a photo of her sipping Coke and Biebs posted a throwback pic of him and Gomez).
Lands Big Time Beauty Campaign
The Insta “It” girl continued to solidify her name in the industry when she was named the new face of Estee Lauder in November 2014 at the tender age of 18, following in the footsteps of ambassadors Joan Smalls, Liu Wen, Constance Jablonski and Gwyneth Paltrow. The bold red suit she wore for the cosmetics powerhouse’s Modern Muse Le Rouge campaign suggested she was growing up, and becoming a major player in the business of fashion.
“She is the ultimate Instagirl, and we are excited to leverage her image, voice, energy and extraordinary social media power to introduce Estee Lauder to millions of young women around the world,” said Jane Hertzmark Hudis, global brand president of Estee Lauder, in a statement. Indeed, the beauty brand reported “stronger-than-expected earnings” following Jenner’s appointment.
“Red looks great on every girl”: our #ModernMuse @kendalljenner shares her favorite rouge essentials on The Estée Edit (read all about it with the link in profile). PS: she’s going to be @Macys Herald Square in NYC on 9/18: if you live nearby, we hope to see you all there! #EsteeStories
A photo posted by Estée Lauder (@esteelauder) on
Calvin Klein Campaign Star
A few months after her Estee Lauder announcement, Jenner became the face of Calvin Klein’s #mycalvins Denim Series ads. The campaign put her in the same league as supermodel greats Brooke Shields and Kate Moss, who both became iconic fashion figures after posing for CK.
Victoria’s Secret Approved
Jenner joined the majors of modeling when she walked in the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which aired on CBS in December. Her bestie, Gigi Hadid, also made the cut. She wrote on Twitter: “@VictoriasSecret the best birthday present of ALL TIME. #SoDamnHappy!!!”
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