“ON THE COVER: Karlie Kloss reflected in a mirror backstage at Jean Paul Gaultier’s couture show in Paris, photographed by Gabrielle Revere on July 6, 2011. | If you don’t know her name, chances are you’ve seen her face: in glossy ads for Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs and Victoria’s Secret; in luscious spreads of American Vogue (and on the cover of its little sister Teen Vogue); in TV highlight reels about the hottest shows at Fashion Week; in (untrue) blog reports that she’s dating Joe Jonas. But who is the real Karlie Kloss, this young woman leading such a glamorous life? Yes, she is a 19-year-old fashion star who has already worked all over the world, landed the most coveted fashion campaigns and magazine spreads, and traveled in A-list circles — yet still she sweetly brings homemade cookies to the crew at photo shoots, still goes home to her family whenever she can, still worried whether she looked all right in her prom dress.
For this special Fashion Week feature, LIFE.com sent photographer Gabrielle Revere to the couture shows in Paris, to Kloss’ childhood home in St. Louis, and around New York City to capture the story of a model just graduated from high school and now free to fully embrace a career of seemingly endless possibility. It is that story — and, of course, her fascinatingly chameleonic face — that makes Karlie Kloss a classic LIFE cover girl.”
See the entire collection of photos here.