If getting enlisted on the spot for one of the biggest shows in Paris wasn’t enough to rattle her, nailing the catwalk was, like, whatever. “People were telling me different things, but I said, ‘Fuck you’ to all of them and walked like a normal person,” she declares. “Runway walks are not a thing for me. No one cares about your walk if you have a cool look.”
That, Kozlov most definitely has: all sculpted cheekbones, tatted limbs, and androgynous mien. But the veneer is backed by a complexity that instantly surfaces when she starts in on her first love, art. “A lot of the artwork I produce is rooted in feminist theory,” she explains. “For example, I think a lot about the way that women are expected to be both infants and prostitutes”—a theme that comes up, needless to say, in her work as a model. But instead of turning away from the close relationship she now has with these problematic topics, she uses it to fuel her creative process. “Modeling has a hand in distributing that narrative to the masses, and being a medium for that information allows me to treat those ideas more intimately in my artwork,” says Kozlov.
Throughout our conversation, it becomes increasingly clear that she isn’t only thoughtful about the concepts that feed her work, but also about defining the work itself: “I sculpt, dance, take photos—I’m multidisciplinary, but I’m not sure how to frame it thematically,” she says. “I look at the art object as a container, a vessel for communication, so I don’t like to specify which genre I work in because it puts me in a corner.” That resistance to being pigeonholed is another of Kozlov’s defining traits, and one that may have taken root during her struggles as a teen. “I was depressed and addicted. When you’re partying all the time it feels like you have friends, but you don’t. I was bullied throughout my childhood, and when I got older I was always looking for a way to escape,” she recalls.