Forever doomed by Valentine’s Day’s mid-fashion month placement, everyone in the industry spends the holiday in a less than romantic way. There are no leisurely candlelight dinners or lingerie shopping or giant bouquets of flowers; no Nora Ephron movie marathons with friends (because that might be awesomest way to celebrate). Anyone with events to put on and/or cover barely has time to down a handful of conversation hearts on February 14.
When I mentioned this scheduling conflict to Karlie Kloss—who’s working shows in New York, London and Milan this season ("Not Paris—I’m going to the Oscars!")—at Victoria’s Secret’s pre-V-day party last Tuesday, she laughed and nodded knowingly. "It’s so funny that you say that because for the past five or six years that I’ve been doing fashion week, it has always fallen during fashion week!" So does she ever find time to celebrate between all the backstage prepping and runway-walking? Read on for her answer—along with the beauty products she buys abroad and her secret to model off-duty style.
Lucky: So tell a little about how fashion month models celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Karlie: Every year with my friends, we always do little valentines. One year, backstage at a show, I remember [model] Constance Jablonski, a friend of mine, brought some sort of homemade treat—cookies or cake I think. Lucky enough, fashion week brings everyone together, so you’re with friends. It does always seem to fall during fashion week, though, so hopefully I’ll still have time to do something fun [this year]!
Is there any one Valentine’s Day that stands out for you, despite the NYFW craziness?
I’ve had some funny Valentine’s Days, with random people, not like a date. With someone at fashion week, after going through a long day, lots of shows and being exhausted—so Valentine’s Day dinners in very unglamorous ways, like backstage at a show. I haven’t had any spectacular Valentine’s Days in the past few years just because it gets in the way of fashion week. Fashion week takes priority!
What, for you, makes the ideal Valentine’s Day gift?
Well I have a sweet tooth, so for me, dark chocolate. Or something small, like a handwritten note from someone—a secret admirer or a friend—that kind of thing means a lot to me. That’s something that money can’t buy.
When you travel abroad for work, is there any special beauty products you stock up on?
In Milan there’s this great brand called Madina. It’s an Italian makeup company and they do all sorts of really good products you can only find there. And at Boots in London, there’s this thing called Berocca—I don’t know if you can get it over here. I’m not quite sure what it is, but it’s like magic! You put it in your water bottle, and it’s like magic! Anything from Boots is really good. They have these little Vaseline lip balms that I stock up on. It’s a good little gift!
During fashion week, I’m so inspired by what the models wear on the streets. What would you say is the secret to their off-duty style?
It’s the balance between casual comfort and supermodel chic; that fine line between something put-together and chic but also ready for the street, because we’re in New York—you’ve got to walk! You’re walking to grab a cab, to hop on the subway, so it’s got to be practical. Chic, but practical.
What do you reach for?
I love comfortable shoes: ballet flats, motorcycle boots—no heels!