Karlie Kloss explains why she quit modeling for Victoria's Secret

Karlie Kloss is opening up about why she quit modeling for Victoria’s Secret during her college years. 

The supermodel told Vogue UK that she decided to stop modeling underwear for the massive lingerie brand because she was studying feminist theory at NYU. Many people assumed at the time that she quit to focus on her college courses.

“The reason I decided to stop working with Victoria’s Secret was I didn’t feel it was an image that was truly reflective of who I am and the kind of message I want to send to young women around the world about what it means to be beautiful,” Kloss, 26, told interviewer Elaine Weltroth in the excerpted interview.

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Karlie Kloss on the Victoria's Secret runway
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Karlie Kloss on the Victoria's Secret runway
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Kane/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Kane/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Kane/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: VS Angel Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Randy Brooke/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: VS Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Randy Brooke/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Kane/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: VS Angel Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Randy Brooke/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Models Karlie Kloss, Douzen Kroes, Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel, Behati Prinsloo, Lindsay Ellingson and Alessandra Ambrosio walk in the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Randy Brooke/WireImage)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 13: THE VICTORIA'S SECRET FASHION SHOW returns to the CBS Television Network on Tuesday, Dec. 10 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT). This year's fashion show will take place in New York City with world-famous Victoria's Secret Angels Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Lily Aldridge, Candice Swanepoel, Lindsay Ellingson, Karlie Kloss, Doutzen Kroes, Behati Prinsloo and many more. Also, the lingerie runway show will include musical performances, pink carpet interviews, model profiles and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the world's most celebrated fashion show. (Photo by David M. Russell/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Karlie Kloss walks in the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Randy Brooke/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Taylor Swift and model Karlie Kloss walk the runway at the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Kane/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway at the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Kane/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway wearing Bodysuit using Swarovski Crystals at the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Swarovski)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Karlie Kloss walks in the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Karlie Kloss walks in the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Randy Brooke/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway at the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway at the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Karli Kloss and Taylor Swift on the runway at Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Earl's Court. (Photo by Rune Hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images)
Karlie Kloss on the runway at Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Earl's Court. (Photo by rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Victoria's Secret model Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Earl's Court exhibition centre on December 2, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Taylor Swift performs as model Karlie Kloss walks the runway at the annual Victoria's Secret fashion show at Earls Court on December 2, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Karlie Kloss walks the runway at the annual Victoria's Secret fashion show at Earls Court on December 2, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Karlie Kloss walks the runway at the 2014 Victoria's Secret Runway Show - Swarovski Crystal Looks at Earl's Court Exhibition Centre on December 2, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Swarovski)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 20: Karlie Kloss at the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on November 20, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by J. Lee/FilmMagic)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 20: Karlie Kloss walks the runway at the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show In Shanghai - Show at Mercedes-Benz Arena on November 20, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 20: Karlie Kloss at the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on November 20, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by J. Lee/FilmMagic)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 20: Karlie Kloss and Cindy Bruna attend 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show In Shanghai - Show at Mercedes-Benz Arena on November 20, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 20: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show In Shanghai at Mercedes-Benz Arena on November 20, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Timur Emek/FilmMagic)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 20: Karlie Kloss attends 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show In Shanghai - Show at Mercedes-Benz Arena on November 20, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
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She added: “I think that was a pivotal moment in me stepping into my power as a feminist, being able to make my own choices and my own narrative, whether through the companies I choose to work with, or through the image I put out to the world.”

Kloss began working for Victoria’s Secret in 2011 and became an Angel ― the elite of the brand’s modeling and fashion runway shows ― two years later. She quit in 2015, when she began her NYU studies.

But she returned to Victoria’s Secret in 2017, and has defended the brand’s fashion show in the era of the Me Too and Times Up movements. She called the show “so relevant in the world we live in today” in a 2018 interview with The Telegraph.

47 PHOTOS
Karlie Kloss through the years
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Karlie Kloss through the years
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 20: Karlie Kloss attends the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 02: Karlie Kloss attends the Dior show, during Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture Fall Winter 2018/2019, on July 2, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Model Karlie Kloss is seen arriving to the Carolina Herrera fashion show during New York Fashion Week at the Museum of Modern Art on February 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: Karlie Kloss attends the Carolina Herrera fragrance launch of 'Good Girl' at 1 Horse Guards Avenue on January 25, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Neil P. Mockford/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Karlie Kloss attends The Fashion Awards 2017 in partnership with Swarovski at Royal Albert Hall on December 4, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/BFC/Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 20: Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show In Shanghai at Mercedes-Benz Arena on November 20, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Karlie Kloss attends the 2017 BoF 500 Gala at Public Hotel on September 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)
MOVIE NIGHT WITH KARLIE KLOSS - 'Hitch' - Supermodel Karlie Kloss sits down with fellow model and good friend Joan Smalls as they play games, make caramel corn and watch Hitch, with the films star Amber Valetta. They are also joined by relationship expert Matthew Hussey who shares some eye-opening dating tips.This episode of 'Movie Night With Karlie Kloss' airs Monday, March 12 (8:30 - 11:00 P.M. EST) on Freeform. (Tony Rivetti via Getty Images) JOAN SMALLS, KARLIE KLOSS
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10: Model Karlie Kloss wearing a black coat, black turtleneck, black jogger pants outside Calvin Klein on February 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 01: Karlie Kloss arrives ahead of the David Jones Autumn Winter 2017 Collections Launch at St Mary's Cathedral Precinct on February 1, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 19: Karlie Kloss is seen in Chelsea on January 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 18: Model Karlie Kloss is seen walking in Soho on January 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
DECEMBER 11, 2016: SYDNEY, NSW - (EUROPE AND AUSTRALASIA OUT) Model Karlie Kloss poses during a photo shoot in Sydney, New South Wales. (Photo by John Appleyard/Newspix/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 19: Karlie Kloss seen at a film set in Manhattan on December 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Model Karlie Kloss poses in the winners room at The Fashion Awards 2016 at Royal Albert Hall on December 5, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Karlie Kloss attends The Fashion Awards 2016 on December 5, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20: Karlie Kloss arrives at the 2016 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 20, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Karlie Kloss is seen on November 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ignat/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
Model Karlie Kloss attends a Carolina Herrera party at the US embassy in Madrid, Spain, on November 14, 2016. (Photo by Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Karlie Kloss at the 2016 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards at Spring Studios on November 7, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 19: Karlie Kloss attends amfAR's 23rd Cinema Against AIDS Gala at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 19, 2016 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/amfAR16/Dave Benett/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 18: Karlie Kloss attends the L'Oreal Paris Blue Obsession Party during the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 18: Karlie Kloss is seen at Hotel Martinez during the annual 69th Cannes Film Festival at on May 18, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/GC Images)
CANNES , FRANCE - MAY 13: Karlie Kloss attends the opening ceremony and premiere of 'La Tete Haute ('Standing Tall') during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2015 in Cannes , France. (Photo Luca Teuchmann/WireImage )
NICE, FRANCE - MAY 12: Karlie Kloss arrives at Nice Airport ahead of The 68th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 12, 2015 in Nice, France. (Photo by Alex B. Huckle/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Victoria's Secret model Karlie Kloss seen backstage prior the 2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on December 2, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Karlie Kloss attends the British Fashion Awards at London Coliseum on December 1, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: Model Karlie Kloss attends WSJ. Magazine 2014 Innovator Awards at Museum of Modern Art on November 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03: Karlie Kloss attends The 11th Annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards at Spring Studios on November 3, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Model Karlie Kloss arrives at the Oscar de la Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2014 on February 11, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 05: Model Karlie Kloss attends the 2014 amfAR New York Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on February 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 04: Model Karlie Kloss attends Victoria's Secret Angels Celebrate Bombshells' Day at Herald Square on February 4, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: Model Karlie Kloss attends the 2013 God's Love We Deliver 2013 Golden Heart Awards Celebration at Spring Studios on October 16, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/FilmMagic)
PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 26: Karlie Kloss seen on the streets of Paris on September 25, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Timur Emek/FilmMagic)
PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 26: Karlie Kloss A model prepares backstage prior to the Balmain show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2014 on September 26, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Model Karlie Kloss attends the #DKNY25 Birthday Bash on September 9, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for DKNY)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: Karlie Kloss attends the Daily Front Row's Fashion Media Awards at Harlow on September 6, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Michael N. Todaro/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Karlie Kloss seen in downtown Manhattan on September 08, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by David Krieger/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: Karlie Kloss attends the Daily Front Row's Fashion Media Awards at Harlow on September 6, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Norfleet/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway at the Diane Von Furstenberg fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014 at The Theatre at Lincoln Center on September 8, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 03: Karlie Kloss attends 2013 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on June 3, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 30: Model Karlie Kloss attends the New York Mets vs New York Yankees game at Yankee Stadium on May 30, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 24: Karlie Kloss attends the premiere of 'The Immigrant' at The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 24, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
Karlie Kloss attends the Costume Institute Gala for the 'PUNK: Chaos to Couture' exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. ?? LAN (Photo by Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 07: Model/ballet dancer Karlie Kloss attends the Jay Z performance at Carnegie Hall to benefit The United Way of New York and The Shawn Carter Foundation on February 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 10: Model Karlie Kloss attends the 2012 YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on January 10, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 13: Karlie Kloss arrives at The 20th Anniversary of Next Models Hosted By Artistry at Marquee on February 13, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage for Next Management, LLC)
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“There’s something really powerful about a woman who owns her sexuality and is in charge,” Kloss told the publication. 

“A show like this celebrates that and allows all of us to be the best versions of ourselves,” she said. “Whether it’s wearing heels, makeup or a beautiful piece of lingerie — if you are in control and empowered by yourself, it’s sexy.”

In May 2018, Les Wexner, the CEO of L Brands ― the parent company of Victoria’s Secret ― announced that the fashion show may be leaving network television for good after its ratings plummeted to historic lows

“Fashion is a business of change. We must evolve and change to grow,” Wexner said in a memo obtained by CNBC. “With that in mind, we have decided to re-think the traditional Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Going forward we don’t believe network television is the right fit.”

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Karlie Kloss, Joshua Kushner throw surprise second wedding in Wyoming
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Karlie Kloss, Joshua Kushner throw surprise second wedding in Wyoming
My cowboy 🖤
Lean on me ❤️
May your marriage be as intense and long lasting as my hangover from this weekend 💘
@DerekBlassberg
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wonderful weekend of being loved and celebrating love, congrats to a beautiful union @karliekloss @joshuakushner ❤️
@DerekBlassberg
@DerekBlassberg
@lydiakives Wyoming love🌙 Celebrating Karlie & Josh💛
@DerekBlassberg
@DerekBlassberg
@DerekBlassberg
@DerekBlassberg
Party on the prairie 🤠
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Read more of Kloss’ interview at Vogue UK

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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