Kendall Jenner Used To Opt Out Of Using Her Last Name To Set Herself Apart From Her Famous Family

Kendall Jenner has long tried to step out of the shadow of her family and be taken seriously in a professional environment.

Kendall Jenner poses in a bright orange gown.
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

Kendall Jenner has long tried to step out of the shadow of her family and be taken seriously in a professional environment.

Kendall Jenner is perhaps one of the most reserved members of the Kardashian-Jenner family in that she tends to be more private than the rest of her siblings. She generally keeps the details of her love life to herself and focuses instead on her modeling career. Jenner was only 14-years-old when she decided that she wanted a serious career as a model. Of course, it certainly helped her that her older sister was Kim Kardashian, one of the most famous models of this generation. While Jenner is grateful for the ways in which her family has blessed her, she has had to work hard to distinguish herself from them professionally. At one point, she even dropped “Jenner” from her last name while going to casting calls, according to Entertainment Cheat Sheet.

Jenner was just a child when she first appeared on the popular reality series Keeping Up With The Kardashians. She grew up surrounded by cameras and became known widely as Kim Kardashian’s little sister. But this wasn’t necessarily a reputation that the model wanted. She was determined to be taken seriously as a professional and show the world that the goals she accomplished within her modeling career were not simply handed to her because of who her family was. Jenner is now one of the most successful supermodels of this era, having starred on numerous magazine covers and graced the runway wearing some of the finest designer clothing. She’s still trying to prove to people that she accomplished this through hard work, not privilege.

“But I’ve always been the person to prove [critics] wrong, even when I was younger. I’ve always been a hard worker: that’s in my blood. My parents raised me and my little sister to be that way and the rest of my sisters, too. A lot of people assumed that because I came from a ‘name’ that it was a lot easier for me to get to where I got, but actually, it’s the complete opposite.”

It was because she wanted to separate herself from the rest of the family that she began referring to herself simply as “Kendall” or “K” while she was working.

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Photographer Russell James has been quick to praise Jenner for her hard work and dedication, claiming that it was because of those attributes that she’s found so much success.

“100% of Kendall Jenner’s success is actually 100% Kendall because she’s so d*** motivated. Genetically, she had everything to be a great model, but I told her it was going to be so hard to do because she already had a brand.”