If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on when it comes to Kim Kardashian, it’s that she’s serious about her businesses. Sure, you may question whether she’s had cosmetic body enhancements or whether her famous physique is the result of a strict exercise regime. You could argue about whether she’s a feminist icon or the embodiment of unrealistic ideals. But one thing you cannot deny is her entrepreneurial spirit.
I’m biased – I love Kim with my whole soul – but even before she burst onto the reality TV scene on E!’s Keeping Up With The Kardashians, she was busy running Dash, a clothing boutique she co-founded with her sisters Kourtney and Khloe in 2006. Since then, she’s built a global empire that spans multiple industries, from gaming to beauty to publishing, amassing billions of dollars of revenue and over 700 international trademarks. Oh, and all the while, she was bringing up a family of four children. Surely, that’s pretty impressive by anyone’s terms?
That’s not to say she hasn’t done some dubious deals along the way and there’s no doubt that some of her business ventures have been better than others. Take the Kardashian Kard in partnership with MasterCard that Kim and her sisters launched in 2010 – a preloaded debit card that was swiftly taken off the market after heavy criticism of sky-high fees. Then there was Kimono, the predecessor to Kim’s shapewear brand Skims, which caused global outrage due to the appropriation of the Japanese word.
However, as any great entrepreneur would, Kim has proved herself adaptable, tenacious and resilient, learning from her failures and coming back stronger. In celebration of her birthday, we’ve rounded them all up and ranked them in order of greatness, because, quite frankly, it’s not bad for a girl with no talent.
12. Kardashian Kard
The Kardashian Kard takes last place on the list of Kim’s business ventures, mainly because it was scrapped before it even took off. The prepaid MasterCard, which launched in 2010, had sky high fees and a campaign that targeted young teenagers, which garnered fierce criticism, leading to the card promptly being taken off the market.
11. Kardashian Beauty
Originally launched as Khroma Beauty in 2012 before a lawsuit that saw the sisters rename it to Kardashian Beauty, the range, which included makeup and later haircare, was a bit of a disappointment. The pigment payoff was far from remarkable and the packaging looked a little cheap – not what you would expect from three beauty aficionados.
10. Belle Noel Jewellery
Back in the 2010s, Kim was known for a hoop earring – a fact she capitalised on with the launch of her jewellery line Belle Noel in 2011. Available exclusively at Bloomingdales, Kim worked with designer Pascal Mouawad to create the range of costume jewellery. It provided fans with the opportunity to accessorise like the reality TV star at an affordable price, but sadly, the brand never took off and disappeared into the ether.
Alongside BFF Paris Hilton, Kim is often attributed with the rise of the selfie, being one of the first people to become known posting self-portrait style photos across her social media accounts. In 2015, Kim released a coffee table photobook titled Selfish, which was published by Rizzoli and contained a collection of previously unseen selfies. The signed first-editions sold out within one minute despite critics calling the project narcissistic and insipid.
8. Kim Kardashian Hollywood!
Kim Kardashian’s iOS and Android game can be described as the Hollywood version of The Sims, where the aim is to become as famous as possible. Each player has the opportunity to book modelling jobs, make club appearances and go on dates, as well as spend K-Stars (virtual currency that can be earned in-app or bought with real money) on the latest fashion looks. The game launched in June 2014, and by the end of the year, it had 23 million players and had made $43 million.
Way back in 2009, Kim launched an online fashion subscription service with Brian Lee, Robert Shapiro and M.J.Eng, that offered monthly curations of shoes, bags and jewellery. Within four years, the brand had amassed 10 million subscribers and received millions of dollars of funding before being acquired by rival online fashion subscription service JustFab in 2013 for an undisclosed sum, making it one of Kim’s first success business ventures.
6. Kim’s first perfume
After a monumental bust-up with her sisters that was documented on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Kim renamed her first perfume venture from Dashing (inspired by the sisters’ boutique Dash) to Kim Kardashian Eau De Parfum. The fragrance was a sophisticated bouquet of jasmine, tuberose, gardenia, with a dry-down of tonka bean, jacaranda wood and sandalwood, which paved the way for Kim to develop her perfume authority.
5. Dash Boutique
The Dash Boutique in Calabasas, California was where it all started for the three sisters, opening its doors in 2006. The boutique stocked a selection of high-end clothing and accessories and throughout its 12 years of operation, expanded into multiple locations including Miami and Manhattan.
In 2015, Kim launched the Kimoji app, which contained a range of 250 emojis and GIFs, including Kim’s legendary crying face and memorable scenes from the reality show. It took the virtual world by storm making $1 million every minute and boasting 9000 downloads every second. Later, it moved to making emoji adorned merch, including T-shirts and phone cases.
3. KKW Fragrance
Calling upon her previous experience in perfumery, Kim launched a collection of three scents – Crystal Gardenia, Crystal Gardenia Citrus and Crystal Gardenia Oud – under new label KKW Fragrance in 2017. Since, the brand has grown to offer a wide variety of perfumes, from floral to citrus, including the famous KKW Body, which comes in a bottle modelled after Kim’s own body, and a number of collaborations with members of her family.
2. KKW Beauty
Despite the demise of her inaugural beauty brand, Kim launched KKW Beauty in 2017 to instant success. The range included powerful pigments, high-performance formulas and a range of trend-led products that impressed both Kim’s fans and makeup industry insiders. Three years after its launch, cosmetics giant Coty bought 20% of the company for $200 million, valuing the company at $1 billion.
Despite a rocky start and global outrage over Kim’s appropriation of the word Kimono, Kim successfully renamed her “solutionwear” business to Skims, which launched in 2019 and has since grown it into a multi-billion dollar brand. Now, Skims is available across the world, and offers a vast range of smoothing and contouring underwear, as well as loungewear and pyjamas.
From Glamour Magazine UK