Growing up in the spotlight on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, it was always Kendall Jenner‘s dream to be a model.
But despite her famous family, entering the fashion world was no walk in the park – Jenner’s affiliation with reality TV made brands initially not want to work with with the then-teenager and she had to fight to prove herself as a serious and hardworking young woman.
Fast-forward nine years and Jenner is the highest paid model in the world, stealing the top spot from former Victoria’s Secret Angel Gisele Bundchen and making a total of $30m AUD in 2017.
Ahead of her walking her third Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Jenner sits backstage looking bright-eyed and bubbly as two hairstylists put her brunette hair into rollers. When we talk, the 23-year-old is completely down-to-earth and chatty, answering our first question – “what are you most excited to eat after the show?” – with so much enthusiasm – “Pasta! That’s an easy question” – that other Angels turned around to laugh.
Jenner backstage at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
But walking a lingerie show that’s watched by over 1.4 billion people worldwide makes you put pasta on hold for a while. Jenner credits boxing for her incredible physique, the same exercise her friends Gigi and Bella Hadid also do regularly.
“I’m a very fast-paced exerciser. I don’t like to do slow things because I get bored, so I love boxing,” Jenner says. “I think it’s because it also keeps my mind going – you have to think of so many different things,” she explains.
Jenner, who has been open about her debilitating anxiety, says that before the show she tries to take some time out to herself (if you saw the backstage area, you’d understand why) and focuses on her breathing whenever she starts to feel anxious.
Jenner in the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
“I know it probably sounds stupid, but I just try to breathe very slowly and deeply and just chill myself out. Sometimes talking to too many people can make you feel a bit all over the show, so I try to keep to myself and just go and do it,” Jenner tells marie claire Australia.
“Once you do the first walk – I have two looks – once you get the first one over with, it’s a lot more chilled.”
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is today – November 8th – in New York City. Victoria’s Secret is opening the first Australian store in Melbourne’s Chadstone Shopping Centre at the end of the month.
This article originally appeared on marie claire.
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