As any aspiring model will say, booking a photo shoot for a major magazine is a serious career-making moment. But being cast in a story shot by mega-legend Karl Lagerfeld? That’s another level entirely. So when that very opportunity arose for 20-year-old Kenya Kinski this past spring, she was, naturally, over the moon. “It was surreal,” Kenya says. “I loved watching him and the way he operates. He’s obviously a genius, but he’s also really sweet, and he has a great sense of humor.”
With music producer Quincy Jones and movie star Nastassja Kinski for parents, Kenya is not exactly a stranger to the spotlight. Nevertheless, her everyday life, she says, is decidedly less glamorous. A college junior (she’s an English major at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles), Kenya spends most of her days shuttling between campus and West Hollywood, where she hangs out with her friends. “We do pretty silly things, like playing laser tag,” she reveals.
And, of course, she makes time for her main man—Dieter, her horse. “I absolutely adore him,” she says. “I’ve been riding forever. It’s always going to be a part of my life.”
Each summer, however, Kenya relocates to New York to pursue modeling. “Every time I’m there I learn a little more about the process,” she says. Not only is she studying up on the industry, but she’s also mastering the model-off-duty look, citing a pair of Rag & Bone booties and a reserve of boyfriend jeans among her wardrobe staples. “My style is grungy and feminine at the same time,” she says. “I like combining polar opposites, like a floral skirt with combat boots, or ripped jeans with a fancy top.” But when she’s feeling a bit brave, she pulls out her collection of bright-colored blazers from the 1980s, pilfered from her mother’s closet. “She is very classic and ladylike now, so there’s less I would steal at the moment,” Kenya says, “but I love the vintage stuff!”