Perhaps it is all her equestrian training that has made Kelly Klein - the beautiful wife of Calvin Klein - so fast out of the starting gate of her new career: fashion photography.

Since she began taking photographs professionally last October, the tawny muse of America's fashion and underwear mogul has arrived, fairly instantly, at what could be called a professional finish line - a Vogue cover. Her photograph of the model Christy Turlington will, she told this reporter, appear on the cover of British Vogue in July.

Since 1992, when she edited a book of contemporary and vintage photographs of swimming pools (Pools by Knopf), which cost $100 a copy, Kelly Klein has tested ambitions other than that of being the world's best-dressed wife.

Now 38, she has collected photo credits of quality, much as she has purchased pieces of the Duchess of Windsor's jewellery in the past. She wore the Duchess's pearls famously in Vogue with jeans.

Her CV boasts a recent cover of Mirabella, as well as upcoming work in Interview and Spanish Vogue. The glossy promotional "outsert" for the recent New York charity event Seventh on Sale, which came enclosed with the May issue of American Vogue, featured portraits by Kelly Klein of Turlington and Michael Bergin (the Calvin Klein underwear poster boy). The outsert was designed pro bono by Calvin Klein's in-house advertising group, to help raise money for the New York City Aids Fund.

Kelly Klein met her husband while working as a design assistant - a post she also held at Ralph Lauren. Since they married in 1987, her past and present have merged into a persona made public through veils of silk and fashion hagiography. Women's Wear Daily covered the couple's honeymoon in Venice.

However, despite all the publicity, Kelly Klein is still tentative with the press, having been the subject of some scorching profiles in the past. "She is something like the good family china - expensive, beautiful and only out on special occasions," wrote the New York Times in 1992.

Few hard biographical facts are known - but these, like her good bones, stand out in glamorous relief. She looks great and she can ride.