It’s been quite a whirlwind for Jordyn Woods. Once best known as Kylie Jenner’s BFF on Snapchat and Keeping Up With the Kardashians (and more recently on The Life of Kylie), the 19-year-old has been racking up gigs since being signed to Wilhelmina Models in 2015 — from model to DJ to designer and back again. And she’s only just getting started.
Since being signed to Wilhelmina’s Curve portfolio two years ago, Woods has become a champion of body positivity. “My role has been organic but I love being able to help girls feel better about themselves based upon my looks, what I have to say or my choices,” she told us last month on the phone from L.A. “I’m a curvy girl and I’m modeling — they should see that.”
Woods gave us the scoop on her first foray into design, a collaboration with the plus-size retailer Addition Elle, which she’ll debut on the runway at New York Fashion Week today. The Montreal-based brand previously cast Woods alongside models Ashley Graham and Barbie Ferreira in recent seasons. “They were my first client when I got signed,” she says. “Over time, our relationship grew stronger. They realized how much I loved their brand and [how much] they loved me. It seemed organic to do something together.”
The collab features a street-ready array of denim, activewear and ‘90s-inspired separates. Woods’ pick is a cropped and oversized denim jacket, which she’s sure to rock while slaying NYFW (She walked the buzzy ChromaT show on Friday and hit a slew of A-list parties over the weekend.)
Woods uses her significant social following (she’s currently sitting at 3.6 million followers) to share copious selfies, but more importantly, to spread the kind of positivity it took her years to achieve. “Modeling really helped me step out of my shell. Your individuality is your greatest gift… you really have to own that,” she says. “I was a tomboy growing up because it was so hard for me to find clothing that fit me at a young age where I’d feel cute and a trendy like every other girl. I’d wear the baggiest clothes.”
“The younger generation now feels so much pressure to look a certain way because of Instagram,” she says. “I see 11-year-olds skipping the awkward phase… I’m only just getting out of my awkward phase!” It’s for that reason that Woods aims to keep a little realism in her shots, often honing in on so-called imperfections. “No one has the right to tell you what to do with your body,” she says. Woods is confident in her own skin, but she’s not against making changes. “For me, I realize I can do whatever I want. If I want to fix my teeth, I will. If I don’t want to, I shouldn’t feel pressure from anyone else to fix my teeth or anything they tell me to fix. I’m all for whatever makes that person happy. Go for it!”
History is littered with sidekicks trying — and failing — to make it in the spotlight, but Woods is determined not to be one of them. “I can’t help that my best friend happens to be one of the most talked-about people in pop culture. People eventually are going to start seeing me for what I do,” she says. “My message is so much broader and deeper than being someone’s best friend.”
(Photos from top: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Chromat)