Kendall Jenner Is Once Again Downplaying Nepotism In Her Modeling Career

Kendall Jenner is once again talking about her oh-so-humble beginnings in the modeling industry.

Kendall Jenner posing for the camera while wearing a fitted turtleneck top at an event
Rodin Eckenroth / The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

The model has oft spoken about going to castings in "the middle of nowhere" at the beginning of her career, emphasizing that she "definitely worked [her] way" to where she is in a 2021 reunion episode of The Kardashians.

A closeup of Kendall Jenner in a satin dress with a chain halter strap
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This is despite there being an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians where Kris Jenner says, "I've spent the last two days calling everyone I know making sure I can set Kendall up with the best modeling agency possible" — leading the then-13-year-old to receive her first contract with Wilhelmina Models.

Kendall Jenner walks runway in a gold and white dress with a sequined bodice
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In a new interview with Vogue, Kendall spoke about her high fashion runway debut with Marc Jacobs in 2014. Though Kendall had done runways before, it was definitely a huge part of her breaking out to become a high fashion model and received copious press attention.

Kendall Jenner on the runway in a long-sleeved see-through shirt and pants
Neilson Barnard / Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)

“I really went into that season thinking, I don’t know how this is going to go, but I’m just going to try,” she told Vogue. “Then I booked Marc Jacobs, and I thought, Cool, if this is all I get, I can go home happy.” Afterwards, more designers came flocking. “That was kind of like, What the fuck? This is crazy. This is actually happening. I remember the excitement and the disbelief of that time. And from there the takeoff was really fast," she added.

Kendall Jenner on runway in a sparkling oversized coat with metallic finish and matching leggings, accessorized with a small bag
Francois Durand / Getty Images

Marc then chimed in to say that he "wasn’t excited by the Kardashian fame," adding, "I was aware of who they were. There was no judgment. But I have a job to do, a fashion show, and that means finding models who can show the clothes the way I think they should be shown." Indeed, it was Marc's longtime collaborator and stylist, Katie Grand, who suggested that they meet.

Kendall Jenner on the runway
Randy Brooke / WireImage

Apparently, Kendall was keen to prove people wrong. She continued, “I think they didn’t believe in me when I came into the industry. That’s been a constant narrative in the hater world online, and at times that’s been really hard.”

Kendall Jenner walks the runway in a lace dress with a belt

"But I always say, I like being a pleasant surprise. I like that motivation in a way — like, Oh, you thought? You thought! Fashion is always shifting. There are always new vibes and energies."

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Somewhat confusingly, Kendall then said, "When I came into it, you didn’t really see quote-unquote famous girls. Cara Delevingne was probably the biggest one who was known outside of modeling. She opened that door for me, and from there it blew up into a whole new thing."

Kendall Jenner in a high-neck lace top and Cara Delevingne in a tuxedo-style suit posing together
David M. Benett / Getty Images for Birley Group and LOVE Magazine)

She continued, "Now there’s another vibe coming through. You’re seeing a lot of social media creators at the shows. It’s great. It’s always just shifting and changing, and you take it day by day. I suss out the vibe. Does it align with me? If it still does, great. You don’t know what’s around the corner.”

Closeup of Kendall Jenner
Marc Piasecki / WireImage

In the same interview, Kris spoke about asking Victoria's Secret photographer Russell James to the family home when Kendall was 15 — who Kris credits with getting Kendall's career in motion. "Kendall decided very young exactly what she wanted to do, and it kind of became my mission to help her get there,” Kris said. “So I told her, ‘Put on your prettiest party dress and put a big bow in your hair,’ like I always did. Instead Kendall came walking down the double staircase in the skinniest jeans, the biggest heels, her hair all messy. Kendall did Kendall, and the rest is history.”

Kendall Jenner and Kris Jenner at a formal event
Stefanie Keenan / WireImage for Vanity Fair

I am sure that not having to worry about money, having familial connections, and access to the best cosmetic work in the world made it exceedingly difficult for the already-famous to enter the modeling industry.