Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

    Kim Kardashian just launched a new makeup line. Here’s how she leveraged her reality TV stardom into a multibillion-dollar empire.

    Kim Kardashian has had a career spanning multiple industries. Now, she’s is inching toward a net worth of $2 billion, according to Forbes calculations.

    Kim Kardashian’s net worth is reportedly $1.7 billion as of January 2024, according to Forbes.
    She just got back into the cosmetics game with the launch of a new makeup line, SKKN by Kim.
    From founding beauty companies and clothing lines to her own private equity firm, here’s a look at the career of Kim Kardashian.

    Kim Kardashian is one of the most recognized names of her generation. 

    She got her start on reality television with the hit show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” and leveraged her fame — and massive social media following — into a consumer empire that spans across beauty, fashion, and fragrances. 

    Over the years, she’s launched a range of highly popular brands from her shapewear line Skims to her beauty line SKKN by Kim, which released a new line of cosmetics on Friday.  

    These days, Kardashian is worth around $1.7 billion, according to Forbes. Take a closer look at how she built a multi billion-dollar business empire.

    Kardashian’s fame predates her own business endeavors
    Defense attorney for O.J. Simpson, Robert Kardashian sits in a court in Los Angeles Friday, June 9, 1995.

    Her family’s first moments in the spotlight were when the patriarch of the family, Robert Kardashian Sr., was in the public eye as O.J. Simpson’s lawyer.

    Kim Kardashian’s first solo appearance in the entertainment world came as a stylist for singer and actress Brandy Norwood in 2004.
    Brandy Norwood was one of Kardashian’s first clients.

    And Norwood’s mom alleged that Kardashian (and her siblings) ran up more than $120,000 in credit card charges her card without permission, according to People.

    The Kardashians denied the allegations in a statement to the outlet saying that the charges against them were “meritless.”

    Still, her skills as a stylist also landed her a spot on TV’s “The Simple Life” with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie from 2003 to 2006.
    Kim Kardashian and her celebrity client Paris Hilton.

    Kardashian also landed a gig as actress Lindsay Lohan’s stylist in her early years, according to Cosmopolitan.

    Kim told Variety that her career as a businesswoman actually dates back to before she appeared on TV.
    “When I was younger, I worked in my dad’s office. When I was there, I discovered eBay and I loved shopping,” Kardashian told Variety.

    Her passion for business started in high school when she was working at a boutique and in her dad’s office, according to Variety. During that time she discovered eBay and her love of online shopping, Kardashian told the outlet. 

     

    Her father reportedly told her she could buy five pairs of Manolo Blahnik shoes as long as she paid him back with interest.
    She realized that she could turn a profit by selling goods online.

    “I sold every pair on eBay for $2,500. I became so obsessed with seeing that return, I would sell off the things I wouldn’t be wearing,” she told Variety. 

    The shoes were $700 heels in a style worn by Jennifer Lopez in one of her early music videos.
    Manolo Blahnik heels are a red-carpet staple.

    “Everyone had to have them,” Kim told Variety.

    In 2006, Kim and her sisters, Kourtney and Khloe, opened their first DASH store in their hometown of Calabasas, California
    Kardashian love of reselling inspired her to launch DASH.

    The concept behind the store — a sort of consignment shop — was pretty similar to Kim’s love for reselling. 

     

    In the following decade they opened more locations, including one in Miami and one in the Soho neighborhood of New York City.
    DASH Miami opened in May of 2009.

    Kim announced they’d be shutting DASH doors in April 2018 as the sisters continue to work on their own brands and families, according to Fashionista. 

     

    Kim said her original idea for the reality show, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” was to bring attention to the DASH brand
    Kardashian didn’t realize that her reality television stint would turn her into a public name.

    “I was thinking, this might not last very long, but we’ll grow a great business and expand online,” she told Variety. “I thought it would be great press. I didn’t think it would turn into what it turned into.”

     

    And it turned into something huge
    “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” received rave ratings and drew superfans.

    In 2018, Complex ranked “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” one of the best reality TV shows of all time, behind only MTV’s “The Real World.” 

     

    Shortly before the first episode of the family’s reality show, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” aired in October 2007, Kim became the center of a scandal that some say catapulted her career.

    In February 2007, a sex tape with Kim and Ray J — Brandy Norwood’s brother whom Kim dated from 2003 to 2006 — surfaced and made its way into the news, according to Cosmopolitan. Kim sued the entertainment company distributing the tape at the time. She reportedly settled the case for $5 million, according to NBC2.

     

    While the tape wasn’t technically part of her career path, she did tell Oprah she’s “not naive to the fact” that it helped launch her into fame.
    Kardashian doesn’t deny that her fame came from some unexpected sources.

    “I think that’s how I was definitely introduced to the world,” she said on Oprah’s Next Chapter.

    At the end of 2007, Kim posed for Playboy, and the shoot was captured on the first season of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”
    Kardashian did get some help from then editor-in-chief Hugh Hefner.

    She said she was so nervous that she had to sit down with the magazine’s founder and then-editor-in-chief, Hugh Hefner, who she credited with helping convince her to pose, according to People. 

     

    In 2009, Kim released a three-DVD workout plan called “Fit in Your Jeans by Friday.”
    Kardashian said her workout video was inspired by people who kept asking her how she kept in shape.

    In a promotional video, she calls it “so high-fashion and so stylized, it’s very me.” Most of the outfits have an “’80s, futuristic” look, as described by Kim herself.

    She said she developed it because people were continually asking her how she kept her curves in shape and that while working with a few trainers, she found a routine that worked for her, and built the videos around the method.

     

     

    In 2009, Kardashian co-founded a fashion subscription service called ShoeDazzle

    It provided members with a curated selection of accessories and shoes for around $40 a month.

    By 2012 the service had acquired 10 million members and expanded into women’s clothing, too, according to TechCrunch.

    In 2013, the service merged with one of its biggest competitors, rival fashion subscription service JustFab.

    The opening of DASH Miami in 2009 brought about a new reality spinoff: “Kourtney and Kim Take Miami.”
    The Kardashians continued to expand their reality television repertoire with a new series.

    The series lasted for three seasons — but Khloe headlined season two instead of Kim, although Kim did appear in the season.

     

    Also in 2009, Kim appeared in “Deep in the Valley.”
    It didn’t have a great rating…

    The romantic comedy had a 26% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It was produced by Persistent Entertainment.

     

    Kardashian Glamour Tan was released onto the beauty market in April 2010.
    The product was one of Kardashian’s first forays into the beauty market.

    It’s a self-tanning gel created by the three sisters and was — at the time — exclusive to Sephora and cost $34, according to Glamour. In 2019, there was a tube going for $79 on Amazon.

     

    Six months later, Kim made her debut in the perfume world with her eponymous scent.
    You can buy it on Amazon for under $20.

    “We used notes of gardenia, which I love, and as the scent develops, it almost smells creamy if that makes any sense,” Kardashian told InStyle. “People sometimes ask me what I’m wearing, and it’s kind of weird when I’m like, ‘Um, it’s Kim Kardashian.'”

     

    Kourtney and Kim opened their third DASH retail store in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood in 2011.
    When you’re a Kardashian everything is a public spectacle.

    And reality television viewers got to watch what happened in Kourtney & Kim Take New York

     

    At the time, Kim was newly married to NBA player, Kris Humphries
    Kardashian and her husband Kris Humphries.

    The pair lived in a suite at the Gansevoort Hotel with Kourtney, her then-boyfriend Scott Disick, and their son Mason Disick, according to Cosmopolitan. 

     

    Their wedding was broadcast into the homes of people all over the US as “Kim’s Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event”
    Another Kardashian milestone, another reality television event.

    The event reportedly brought in $18 million in licensing fees, endorsement deals, and broadcast deals for Kim, according to NBC2. Just 72 days later they were divorced. 

     

    Kim debuted a music video at the TAO nightclub New Years party in 2011 for her song “Jam (Turn it Up).”
    The musical number drew its share of critics, but it was all for a good cause.

    It was commercially released in March of that year, according to Cosmopolitan. A New York Daily News headline following the song debut called Kim “the worst singer in the reality TV universe.”

    A portion of the proceeds reportedly went to St Judes Children’s Research Hospital, according to Cosmopolitan. 

     

    She told Andy Cohen she gave herself a hard time about the decision to do a music video for a long time.
    Kardashian opened on about the video on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.”

    “I can’t believe I did that,” she said on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” but she had fun.

     

    In 2011, she launched a jewelry collection called Belle Noel for the department store Bloomingdale’s.
    Kardashian models her costume jewelry line.

    The line of costume jewelry never took off with customers and fizzled out.

    In 2011, the sisters released a clothing line with retailer Sears aptly dubbed Kardashian Kollection.
    The brand folded in 2015.

    They came under fire with the line when they were accused of working with abusive employers to make their clothes, according to StyleCaster.

    By 2013, the brand was said to be “flopping big-time,” and Sears dropped prices on items to less than $10. It officially folded in 2015, according to StyleCaster. 

     

    But of course, that wasn’t the only thing Kim had going on at the time.
    It retails for a little over $21 on Amazon.

    In April 2011 she launched Gold, her second fragrance, according to Cosmopolitan.

     

    And her third fragrance, “Kim Kardashian Love,” was released for her wedding to Kris Humphries in 2011.
    Kardashian and her stepfather Bruce Jenner walk down the aisle during her wedding to Humphries.

    There were only 979 bottles sold — 1,000 were made, but 20 were reserved for her bridal party and one for herself on her wedding day, according to Cosmopolitan.

     

    In the summer of 2012 Kim launched her fourth fragrance, “True Reflection.”
    Buy it Amazon for a little over $20.

    The launch party in Hollywood benefitted Dress for Success, a charity organization, according to the The Hollywood Reporter.

    In November 2012, Kim and her sisters launched Khroma Beauty — a full range of cosmetics products.
    Khroma was one of the Kardashian’s earliest forays into makeup.

    The name was changed to Kardashian Beauty after another established makeup company called Kroma Beauty took the sisters and their lawyers to court, according to Teen Vogue. 

     

    The line didn’t last, and a former employee of the family said the real problem was likely the lack of involvement.
    The line failed to attract a strong customer base.

    “This was a licensing deal,” the employee told Fashionista. “Even without the lawsuits, Khroma likely wouldn’t have been a hit, anyway. I think the subsequent folding of Kardashian Beauty, which is what Khroma evolved into, proved that.”

    In 2014, Kim released her iPhone and Android game “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.”
    The game instantly became a hit with fans.

    Just in the first five days, the game reportedly grossed $1.6 million. As of August 2018, the game was bringing in around $8 million in a quarter for the Glu Mobile company, according to Variety.

    Kim was on the cover of Paper Magazine in November 2014.
    And she figuratively broke it by winning the inaugural Break The Internet Award.

    She posed naked for a cover story called “Break the Internet: Kim Kardashian.”

    While the story didn’t literally break the Internet, Kim did end up winning the first ever Webby award named after the achievement: Break The Internet Award, according to Merriam-Webster. 

     

    In 2015, Kim published “Selfish” — a small coffee table book filled with 448 pages of selfies she had taken between 2006 and 2014.
    The book charts Kardashian’s relationship to her own face across time.

    The book functions like a diary of Kardashian’s relationship to her own face — and beauty. “Getting my hair and makeup done has become a daily routine,” Kardashian writes in a caption of Selfish. “I have become family with my glam teams.” The book landed on the New York Times Bestseller list, according to Cosmopolitan. 

     

    The launch of Kimojis for iOS in December 2015 was huge for Apple’s App Store.
    Kimojis for iOS quickly shot up to the top of the App Store.

    On the day of the launch, Apple’s App Store reportedly crashed and Kim tweeted, “Apple, I’m so sorry I broke your App Store!!!” according to Grazia. Apple reported it as one of the top 5 most purchased apps the week it was released, according to Cosmopolitan. 

     

     

    In May of that year, Kim tweeted about her new children’s clothing line with then-husband Kanye West called TheKidsSupply.
    Their line had everything from sweatpants to little Yeezys.

    She wrote, “For the past few years Kanye and I have made almost all of our kids clothes and we have collaborated on a new kids line!”

    The entire first collection was reportedly inspired by Calabasas and included dresses, chokers, hats, sweatpants, and more, according to Vogue. Later seasons included itty-bitty Yeezys, the luxury lifestyle sneakers developed by Kanye West and Adidas, according to HighSnobiety. 

     

    Also in 2015, Kim made $500,000 for one sponsored Instagram post about a morning sickness pill.
    Kardashian made more with one Instagram post than the president makes in a year.

    Sales jumped more than 21% for the Diclegis pill, according to STAT.

    And just to put Kardashian’s windfall into perspective: The president’s salary is $400,000, according to official government websites. 

    Kim got back into the beauty business with KKW Beauty in 2017
    Kardashian got back into the cosmetics game with a contour kit.

    The first product: a $48 contour kit that sold out in minutes and racked up more than $13 million in sales, according to Fashionista.

    And her minimalist approach to the marketing process worked in her favor. She didn’t spend money on traditional advertising — instead, she turned to her devoted social media following. 

     

     

    She went on to produce more products for the line, including a fragrance that made $10 million in one day.
    The fifth time is the charm — Kardashian’s fragrance was a hit.

    People bought her perfume without even smelling it first, according to TMZ. 

     

    Kim also employed similar marketing tactics when she launched her shapewear line, SKIMS Solutionwear, in 2019.
    The original name — Kimono — generated backlash from some who said it disrespected Japanese culture.

    The line was originally called Kimono. The name generated backlash as some audiences said it disrespected Japanese culture. Kim changed it to SKIMS around two months after the initial product announcement.

    In January 2020, Kim announced that the line will be sold at Nordstrom beginning in February. The department store is the first traditional retail outlet to sell SKIMS.

     

    In 2019, Kardashian announced that she had been studying up for the 2022 bar exam.
    “It’s never too late to follow your dreams,” she wrote on Instagram.

    “”I’ve seen some comments from people who are saying it’s my privilege or my money that got me here, but that’s not the case. One person actually said I should ‘stay in my lane.’ I want people to understand that there is nothing that should limit your pursuit of your dreams, and the accomplishment of new goals,” Kardashian wrote in the caption of a photo she posted on Instagram.

     

     

    Kardashian told Vogue that she was inspired to study law after she helped Alice Marie Johnson get released from prison in 2018.
    Kardashian helped Alice Marie Johnson be released from prison.

    Johnson — a 63-year-old grandmother who was serving a life sentence for non-violent drug offenses — was granted clemency by President Donald Trump shortly after he met Kardashian. 

    “”I just felt like the system could be so different and I wanted to fight to fix it and, if I knew more, I could do more,” Kardashian previously said. 

    Prison reform has been a cause that Kardashian continues to champion.
    In time, Kardashian hopes to open a law firm to help with prison reform.

    She even said that she’ll sometimes take on sponsored Instagram posts — ones that she wouldn’t have otherwise considered — in order to fund her efforts, according to CNBC. And she’s said her 10-year plan is to open a law firm to help with prison reform.

     

    Kardashian reportedly apprenticed at a San Francisco law firm.
    Her father’s former colleague said Kardashian has a job offer waiting after she passes the bar.

    Robert Shapiro — a lawyer who worked with Kim’s father on the O.J. Simpson murder trials — told TMZ that he thinks Kim has skills that will help her as a lawyer, and that he’ll give Kardashian a job offer from his firm if she passes the bar.

     

    In 2021, Kim announced that she passed the “baby bar” exam on Instagram

    “I failed this exam 3 times in 2 years, but I got back up each time and studied harder and tried again until I did it!!!” she wrote.

     

    In 2022, Kardashian announced Skky Partners.
    Kim Kardashian’s Skims campaign includes two “The White Lotus” actresses.

    She said the private equity fund that would focus on investments in consumer and media companies along with the hospitality, luxury and digital and e-commerce sectors.

    Kardashian co-founded the firm with Jay Sammons, a former partner at Carlyle Group, who previously invested in popular brands like Beats By Dre and streetwear company Supreme.

    In 2022, Kardashian launched SKKN, a nine-product skincare collection.
    Kardashian pivoted into the skincare game less than a year after shutting down her cosmetics line.

    SKKN came just a year after Kardashian shut down KKW Beauty. In an Instagram story at the time of launch, Kardashian credited her former partner, Ye, for helping her conceptualize the brand.  

     

    On Friday, Kardashian expanded the SKKN by Kim brand with a new cosmetics line.
    Kardashian is getting back into beauty.

    Kardashian said in an Instagram reel that the new line was fueled by the customer requests for color cosmetics on the SKKN account. 

    “In developing SKKN by Kim Makeup, my goal was not only to create universally-flattering cosmetic essentials but also to ensure our products are clean, hydrating and improve the look and feel of skin with every year,” Kardashian wrote in a post on Instagram. 

    Kardashian’s return to the color cosmetics game also comes months after she was in talks to buy back the minority stake of SKKN that she sold to Coty in 2021, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

    And with the makeup category growing at rate of 6% according to projections by McKinsey — investors say its a smart move. “It feels somewhat opportunistic to me given the growth of makeup right now but not surprising to me at all,” Rich Gersten, founder of venture firm True Beauty Ventures told Business Insider. SKKN by Kim did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. 

     

    Read the original article on Business Insider

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