The 20-year-old beauty is one of the world's most sought-after models but says she still looks up to others, with supermodel Christy being her ultimate idol.
She told vogue.co.uk: ''Christy Turlington is my absolute role model. She is the definition of true beauty inside and out.''
Karlie - who was scouted in 2005 at a charity fashion show in her hometown, St Louis in Missouri - has worked with some of the world's most famous brands, including Dolce & Gabbana and Marc Jacobs but she says a lot of thought goes into who she should model for.
She said: ''I work strategically with my management team to make all decisions. I am very lucky to be surrounded and guided by an incredible support team comprised of my family and agents.''
Karlie also says she believes she's successful because she's so tall, saying: ''Because I'm so tall, clothes look different on me than they do on others I am 6ft 1in so I tend to stand out in a crowd and on the runway - quite literally.''