Between the ‘80s pop music blasting throughout the studio and flower arrangements lining the set, hanging out at the Joe Fresh spring campaign shoot feels more like a dance party than a major fashion campaign. (The fact that Karlie Kloss has zero qualms about showing off her impressive moves between takes might help the vibe, too.) Sure, the Canadian retailer’s newest ads star two of the most famous models in the world—along with Kloss, the brand has enlisted Ethiopian-born stunner Liya Kebede—but the attitude here still remains decidedly laid-back.
“I have to admit that, yes, some days are not near this fun,” Kloss said on a break, sipping on a latte. “Last spring was the first campaign I did [for Joe Fresh], so this year we’ve gotten to really know each other. It’s really fun to come back together and just work with a team that you enjoy spending time with.”
Of course, easygoing attitude might have something to do with the clothes themselves. Ever since Joe Fresh established itself stateside back in 2011, the Toronto-based company has become known for updating classics like trench coats, breezy dresses, and printed blouses—both for work and the weekend—with signature modern twists. For spring, the brand expanded on its go-to offerings with utilitarian jackets, patterned trousers, wrap dresses, and the ultimate seasonless essential: denim. Fortunately for us (and for Kloss, who said that “finding the perfect pair of jeans is like finding your soulmate”), there are plenty of options to choose from. And as for tips on how to wear them, there’s really nobody better to ask than the pros themselves. Kloss and Kebede schooled us on denim shopping, spring dressing, and more backstage.
Yahoo Style: Most jeans aren’t made for 6’1” supermodels. So what are some tips for finding the perfect pair?
Karlie Kloss: Growing up, I was a string bean; I was so tall and skinny. I would have these jeans that would actually be long enough, but they’d be four sizes too big. So I’d have this belt that would be holding them on and there’d be way too much fabric on the top…it’s just hysterical. For me, the problem is always if it’s long enough or if it doesn’t fit in the right places. Usually the jeans that do fit in the right places don’t even fit my ankles. Finding the perfect pair of jeans is like finding your soulmate. When you find them, you just have to buy as many pairs as possible.
What sorts of qualities do you look for in a pair of “soulmate”-worthy jeans?
Liya Kebede: Comfort is really important, especially now. Last season I was always wearing these super tight jeans, and now I can’t bother—I just want really loose jeans.
Besides denim, what are some other classic pieces you always stock up on?
LK: I just keep buying more and more nice loose T-shirts— you know, super simple. I like men’s shirts a lot. I am really into button down shirts now, I just think that it’s an easy thing that you just pull and it looks good with everything.
KK: Sweaters, blouses, good T-shirts…just the kind of stuff you can wear year-round.
Help us plan the perfect outfit behind a quintessential spring activity. What would you suggest wearing for brunch outside?
KK: I love the spring because it’s sort of that in-between season. It’s not hot, but there’s still that optimism of it getting sunnier. In the [Joe Fresh] collection there’s been a lot of cute skirts. There were also a lot of light dresses that are perfect for brunch with your friends. They’re really comfortable and light but you can also layer sweaters on top, because it’s not quite warm enough yet.
What about for a road trip?
KK: When I travel, I live in jeans. I spend so much time in transit that I find that just being comfortable is really key. I’m so tall that I don’t actually have to wear heels. When I wear heels I hardly fit through the door! I wear a lot of boots and flats, paired with jeans and a really comfy cashmere sweater.
You’re both superwomen in the fact you’re pursuing impressive side gigs in addition to modeling. Tell us about them.
LK: I was an ambassador for the World Health Organization. I am from Ethiopia—I had my children in New York—one of the number one killers of women in undeveloped countries is childbirth. I started working with them as a spokesperson, and I later started my own foundation to help continue the advocacy. We try to raise awareness and fund maternity centers and training programs for midwives and skilled caregivers, just to make sure that women can deliver safely.
KK: I just started at NYU this fall, so I have been in class. I started a non-profit called Kode with Karlie, which creates scholarships for girls to teach them how to code and just to bring awareness and advocacy to the space. We’re building that out and continuing to grow—we want to get more girls involved, and raise more money to be able to sponsor more girls. I also have a YouTube channel, Klossy.
Why YouTube? Why not become a Snapchat star?
KK: YouTube is obviously a platform but it’s a community as well. There are so many people that use it as a way to take Instagram or take social media one step further to offer a three dimensional look into their world, which is my goal with it. I mean, there’s no rhyme or reason why some things are really successful and some get less hits. And when something goes viral…there are no rules.
Do you read the comments on your videos?
KK: Oh my god, I read all the comments! It’s really amazing. It definitely feels a lot more intimate even than any other platform, so it’s been fun and a new experience.
Between your side projects—and the fact that you two are both some of the most in demand models in the world, we need to know—do you have any guilty pleasures?
LK: Yes, Netflix. A lot of Netflix
Walk us through your queue!
LK: I am obsessed with Homeland, which is not on Netflix. On Netflix, it’s House of Cards, until I die. Game of Thrones, which is also not on Netflix…HBO. I am watching How to Get Away With Murder and I am obsessed. I started thinking, “Eh, it’s going to be okay,” and then four episodes later I am like, “Oh my god, I am still watching this show!”