This 22-year old, Los Angeles based model has been making strides in the fashion world. Kenya Kinski-Jones has had editorials in Vogue Spain, Teen Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, but her most talked about work to-date is her recent Calvin Klein Jeans campaign.
Kinski-Jones was brought up by some pretty famous parents; Her father is music producer Quincy Jones and her mother is actress and former model Nastassja Kinski.
“Obviously, to me, they’re just my parents,” Kenya says in an interview with WWD. “I grew up not at all in the spotlight. I think my parents really kept things down to earth for me.”
And don’t think Kenya took the easy way out. She actually just graduated this past May from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in English.
Kenya also has an extra supporter, her boyfriend and actor Will Petz, known for his role in the 2014 horror film Unfriended.
So how did she start her modeling career? Kenya first began modeling around the age of 14 or 15 when her mom took her to an acting and modeling agency and it wasn’t until then that she wanted to jump into the world of modeling.
“Before that, I had never really thought about it. I guess my mom had known Bruce Weber previously, and she took me to a shoot. I was still kind of shy and not sure about it. He snapped some photos and a couple of months later, we did a shoot together for Vogue Spain. It was a really amazing experience,” said Kenya.
Kenya has received a lot of support throughout her childhood and even now. She reveals:
“My dad, whether it’s school or my career, is always like, “Put in the work.” My grandpa used to say, “If a task has once begun, never leave it till it’s done.” Growing up, when I was in my awkward stages or shy, my mom would always say, “Go do it! Go try it!” She always wants me to jump into things and not be scared. It’s better to try than not to try at all.”
One of the young model’s first ever shoots was with designer Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld for her Harper’s Bazaar spread. A pretty big role for a model just starting out and for Kenya it was unbelieveable. She tells WWD,
“I couldn’t believe it at all. I still don’t even believe it. I’m really grateful for the opportunity. It was so cool to be able to be part of the creative process and watch them work. Karl had a good sense of humor. It was interesting because it was really quick, but it was awesome.”
As far as her most current work for Calvin Klein’s jean campaign, her favorite part was being able to share the experience with her boo.
“Being able to shoot it with my boyfriend, Will, made everything so much more comfortable. There was never any awkwardness that we had to break through. It felt like we were able to push the limits because our relationship is real,” explains Kenya.
via Calvin Klein
She also recently shot a pre-fall campaign for Diane Von Furstenburg, which became a learning experience she never expected.
“We went to New Mexico to a Native American reservation, Taos Pueblo, where I guess usually they don’t let outsiders come into the community. They were nice enough to let us come in. It was amazing. They don’t have any electricity or running water and the houses are made of clay. It’s very traditional. The nature was so beautiful. It was really special,” Kenya shares.
Aside from modeling, Kenya wishes to utilize her English degree to educate the masses about animal rights through her writing. She shares how she hopes to further her animal advocacy,
“I think in my dream world I’d like to combine different things — maybe write a column for a magazine and incorporate that with my passion for animal advocacy. Now I’m free from classes and I can try to blend the two. The good thing with writing is that you can incorporate it into different things.”
How did Kenya build such a big love for animals? It all started from a very young age for the model. Having eight dogs, five cats and two horses also helped and she enjoyed riding her horses, even participating in jumping competitions.
Kenya is currently signed with Ford Models, so be on the lookout for more of this up-and-coming model’s work and maybe check out her Instagram @lovekenya. At 5’8 with blonde hair and brown eyes, she is sure to win all our hearts.