Harper’s BAZAAR: How did you get your start in modeling?
Kenya Kinski Jones: My mom wanted me to model, and I was little shy about it at first. I signed with Ford Models at 18. I visited a Bruce Weber shoot and he took a few pictures of me on the side and then a couple months later, I got booked for a Spanish Vogue editorial—that was my first shoot ever.
HB: Is this your first fashion campaign? How did it all come about?
KKJ: Yes. For this campaign, Calvin Klein Jeans was looking to cast someone in a genuine, real life relationship because the theme had to do with texting, and online dating. My boyfriend [Will Peltz] recently got signed by IMG Models and he went to a casting, and they were really interested in him. So, then when they found out that we were dating, we both met with Calvin Klein Jeans in New York a few times, and then it just happened! Working with Mario Sorrenti was amazing, I was so honored to work with him.
HB: How did you and your boyfriend meet?
KKJ: Will and my mom were actually filming a movie called “Sugar” together, and she asked me to come visit her on set. I came straight from school, and then I saw him and he was so cute—and I just thought, “oh no!” because I was still in my school gym clothes—she didn’t even warn me! But then I visited again and we started talking on Facebook and then we went out. It’s been almost 5 years.
HB: Did he ask you on a date through Facebook?
KKJ: He did. I don’t think we had each other’s numbers before that.
HB: When you were younger did you ever thing you’d follow in your parents’ footsteps, and become an actress like your mother or work in music like your father?
KKJ: You know,maybe in my wildest dreams but oddly enough music or acting wasn’t something that I never gravitated towards—I used to ride horses competitively so I’ve done so I was always focused on that. I love both crafts, I think they’re both amazing and I’m so fascinated by both of them but personally to pursue them —I wasn’t that interested.
HB: Which models do you look up to in the industry?
KKJ: There’s so many! It’s so hard for me to choose. Imaan Hammam was also in this Calvin Klein Jeans campaign— I think she’s so beautiful and so cool. Gigi [Hadid], she’s so amazing I feel like she just changed the whole industry. I love Adriana Lima, Taylor Hill, Naomi Campbell—I could go on and on.
HB: What city do you spend most of your time?
KKJ: I’m kind of in-between because I’m from Los Angeles, and I just graduated from college.
HB: What did you major in?
HB: What’s your favorite thing about both cities?
KKJ: I would say that my favorite thing about New York is the hustle and bustle but that’s also
a drawback at times, but it’s amazing and I love it. I also think if you’re in the city too long you crave that chill environment and that’s what L.A. has and I’m really chill by nature.
HB: How would you describe your personal style?
KKJ: It really changes day to day. Sometimes I feel like be playful, or edgy—it just depends on my mood. But I like to be comfortable and chic.
HB: What’s one item in your closet you would never part with?
KKJ: My vintage Moschino blazer, I took from my mom’s closet. I love to wear it, and that it has a story because my mom used to wear it too.
HB: What’s your favorite city to shop in?
KKJ: I’d say New York. But for me, it doesn’t matter where something is from it’s about picking from the right places and styling it the way I would style it. I think vintage shopping is really cool because it’s fun to like look for something and then you find it’s one of a kind.
HB: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not working?
KKJ: I’ve been riding horses
for most of my life, I have my horse Deeter in Topanga Canyon it’s in Malibu—it’s like a little getaway, really peaceful. When I’m with my friends we love to have game nights, play lazer tag.
HB: What do you do to stay fit?
KKJ: For me it’s hard to get in the gym and just go on a machine, I like something that feels more fun. I like Soul Cycle, swimming, kick boxing, just things that don’t feel like you’re just sitting in the gym repeating the same thing over and over again.
HB: What’s your beauty regimen like?
KKJ: I love beauty products I have so many all the time and I have to tell myself, “no you don’t need that”. For my hair, I love Clairol Shimmering Lights purple shampoo, because when you’re blonde it gets the brassy out, it’s amazing. My skin is really dry skin, and my favorite moisturizer is Weleda’s Skin Food. I love to put that on at night because it’s really thick and my skin just soaks it right up. I love Tracie Martyn’s Alma Purifying Cleanser. It smells really good, it’s really gentle and easy. You know sometimes you get home and you’re really tired and you don’t want to wash your face, this is easy to do— it doesn’t take like a lot of scrubbing.
HB: Do you wash your face every single night?
KKJ: Oh yeah! But I’m not going to lie there are some nights I will give in and I will pass out before taking my makeup off, but I really try to do it every night because you can really tell the next day
HB: Do you have any career goals for the next year?
KKJ: I’m just like taking things one-step at a time. I never thought that this would happen—and I’m just so grateful and excited for things to come. I just want to continue to work hard, stay focused and see what happens next.
HB: What’s your favorite form of social media?
KKJ: I’m going to have to go with Instagram, I just think it’s cool because it’s easy to share,
you can take a picture or find a picture and just share it so quickly. It’s simple. Snapchat… I feel like I should be more into it, and I’ve been trying to. I feel pretty behind though. My friends will be like “I Snapchatted you did you get it?” and I’ll have like 50 messages piled up and they’re like, “that’s so not okay.”
HB: Will you take a selfie before you go?