Who needs a photo album when you can track your life through Calvin Klein campaigns? Since she was just a teenager, Kendall Jenner has been modeling in the fashion brand’s iconic ads, working with photographers like Tyler Mitchell and Willy Vanderperre on a range of campaigns larger than many models’ entire portfolios. For Calvin Klein’s spring 2024 women’s collection, Jenner and photographer Mert Alas stepped out of the photo studio and onto Manhattan’s busy streets, where the model swam in a fountain in a blue trench coat, and explored the city in a mod black shift dress. “It’s pretty rare for me to walk around the city because I don’t have a lot of privacy in New York,” Jenner tells W. “So being able to pretend all the chaos wasn’t happening and have fun with it was kind of nice.” Below, Jenner discusses her history with Calvin—including her favorite shoots from her decade of working with the brand—her thoughts on Joan Didion, and which show she’s currently binging.
You’ve been working with Calvin Klein for a while now. What keeps you coming back?
I love my Calvin family, and obviously I’m a natural fan of the brand. It’s just so iconic and timeless. I think I was 17 during my first shoot with them, so it’s been a minute and they’ve been so loyal.
Do you know how many campaigns you’ve done these past ten years?
I have no idea. A lot. Too many to count at this point! It’s cool to see little me doing the Calvin stuff when I was 17 and be able to compare it to now. There’s an evolution—I literally grew up with Calvin.
Do you have a favorite shoot?
I loved my recent shoot with Inez & Vinoodh. I also loved one I did with Mert & Marcus. It’s very ’90s inspired, just in a studio with a simple white background.
Did you see the recent Jeremy Allen White campaign for Calvin Klein?
What did you think of the photos? Are you a fan of The Bear?
I thought they were amazing. Mert [Alas] kills it. I am a fan of the show. I haven’t finished it, but I’ve seen a few episodes and one of my good friends is on it, so I’ve peeped him.
Let’s get into some Culture Diet questions. You recently posted photos from a beach vacation reading Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. What did you think of it?
It’s a really powerful reflection on grief, and a heavy one, for sure. But I was really into it. I thought it was beautiful. It was enlightening, and it was also just a really interesting story on death and how it’s handled, and how life can take crazy turns. It was a random pull for me—my friend told me about it, I’d been wanting to read it for a while. When I was leaving for vacation, it was the new year, and I was thinking, “What’s my vibe right now?” The title of this book has the word “year” in it, so it felt right.
It’s not exactly a beach read.
I know, which I didn’t think through before my trip! But I ended up enjoying it. I read it more on the plane. I read some of it on the beach, but I was mainly hanging with my friends, drinking tequila.
What is currently on your reading list?
All my books are recommendations. One of my really good friends, who is also my agent, is a book nerd—and she always recommends, like, 10 books at a time. She recently recommended You Never Get It Back by Cara Blue Adams, and I’m excited to get into that one.
What about movies, what have you been watching?
I watched Priscilla the other day. And Oppenheimer. I loved Oppenheimer. Oh, and I watched Past Lives, which I loved.
What artists have you been listening to lately?
Honestly, I need recommendations. I feel like I’m starving for something new and good. I listen to a lot of country, so I’ve been in my Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs bag lately. I’ve also been going back a little and listening to Fleetwood Mac. I’ve been having an Usher moment because of the Super Bowl. I’ve been randomly listening to things that feel nostalgic for me, like Justin Timberlake. The way I can remember every word to a song I haven’t heard in five years is insane. But I need new, good music. I feel like there isn’t anything super new that I’m dying over right now.
What was the last concert you saw?
Boy Genius at the Hollywood Bowl. I’m such a fan. I sat there and was like, “Are you serious?” They’re all so fucking cool.
And any other TV shows, besides The Bear, of course?
I talk about it a lot, but I’m a huge Yellowstone fan, so I’m very embedded in the dynasty of it all. I watched 1883 when that came out, and now there’s 1923, which I started—but I decided I wanted to wait and blow through it when all the episodes got released. Shockingly, I forgot about it. Then last night I had nothing to do so after dinner I finally got to dive in. Now I’m fully in it. I think I was a cowgirl in a past life or something because I’m just obsessed. I’m ready to get off this call and get back to 1923.
I won’t keep you any longer. Go watch!
I actually have work to do now, but I wish.