Having a famous last name isn't always what it's made out to be—or so claims Kendall Jenner.
As a member of a rich and ultra-famous family, Jenner has had access to a wealth of opportunities that have undoubtedly made life much, much easier; but when it came to launching her modeling career, the 23-year-old insists that her last name was actually a hindrance.
Over the past several years, Jenner has established herself as one of the industry's top models. She's landed endorsement deals with Adidas, Marc Jacobs, Fendi, and Calvin Klein, and has also appeared in shows for Burberry, Chanel, Givenchy, and Victoria's Secret. Huge accomplishments, though many have tried to dismiss Jenner's success by chalking it up to strong name recognition.
Jenner has denied these claims, and maintains that her success was earned. "I've always been the person to prove [critics] wrong, even when I was younger. I've always been a hard worker—that's in my blood," she said in a recent interview with Vogue Australia. "My parents raised me and my little sister to be that way and the rest of my sisters, too. A lot of people assumed that because I came from a 'name' that it was a lot easier for me to get to where I got, but actually it's the complete opposite."
Photographer Russell James agreed. "100 percent of Kendall Jenner's success is actually 100 percent Kendall, because she's so damn motivated," said James, who has worked with Jenner since the start of her career. "Genetically, she had everything to be a great model, but I told her it was going to be so hard to do because she already had a brand. In some ways the industry was especially harsh on her, because it's harder to rebrand than it is to brand, so she had an incredible challenge."
You can read Jenner's full interview at Vogue Australia's website. The model also discusses her new partnership with Tiffany & Co. as well as her relationship with the 76ers' Ben Simmons.