The Victoria's Secret beauty spent her teenage years hanging out with fellow models Cara and Jourdan Dunn backstage at fashion shows, and believes It-girl Cara deserves her success because she is so natural and honest.
She explained: ''I've been doing the shows with Cara and Jourdan since we were 15, and we've made some incredible memories together. Working at the shows you have a lot of late-night fittings and early-morning call times - it can be beyond exhausting.
''But we manage to make it fun by getting into trouble along the way. You know, just been normal 20 year olds. Cara is real, she's just totally honest about who she is. And I think people love her for that.
''Cara and Jordan support me in everything I do. I couldn't do this job without them.''
The 20-year-old model has even gone into business with her pal Jourdan on an upcoming secret collaboration, as well as launching her own denim line, FRAME, for tall women earlier this year.
Karlie admits she is grateful for the advent of social media in helping her make her mark in the industry and giving her an opportunity to get her ideas heard.
She added in an interview with Grazia magazine: ''Building my brand and making the transition from model to mogul is 100 per cent on my radar. I totally look up to women like Gisele [Bundchen].
''You used to see a picture of a model and you didn't know where she was from, what she sounded like or what she thought, liked or believed in, you just couldn't relate to her at all.
''Now social media has given us a voice, and that's an incredibly powerful tool for building a brand.''