How Kylie Jenner Landed On the Cover of Forbes And Out-Earned Her Celebrity Siblings
Kylie Jenner is part of the Kardashian-Jenner mecca that has dominated pop culture for the past decade. Her older sisters Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, and Kendall all took their reality television notoriety to pursue various passions and earn an income outside of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, but even as the youngest sibling, Kylie managed to out-earn them all.
Her sister, Kim, is arguably the most famous (she’s one of the reasons the family got their reality show, to begin with) but her net worth falls around $325 million, nearly $600 million short of 20-year-0ld Kylie’s.
Kylie is on track to become the youngest self-made billionaire ever
She’ll take the crown from the one and only Mr. Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook, who became a billionaire at age 23. Kylie launched Kylie Lip Kits in 2016 to sell her $29 lip kits, a lipstick and liner set. Only months later she rebranded as “Kylie Cosmetics,” bought an e-commerce platform on Shopify, and enlisted momager Kris Jenner (who takes a 10% management cut from all her of kids’ endeavors) and only five full-time employees.
Forbes values Kylie Cosmetics at nearly $800 million and Kylie owns 100% of the company. The major costs of running a business like public relations and promotion are a moot point — Kylie and her friends sell the products from the comfort of their Instagram stories and “pop-up” appearances.
In addition to her cosmetics line, Kylie endorses Puma products and has a PacSun clothing line with sister Kendall Jenner. Forbes estimated the mogul is “conservatively worth” $900 million. This, in addition to her age (she’ll turn 21 in August 2018) makes her the youngest person on this year’s ranking of America’s Richest Self-Made Women.
So how did Kylie land this title in under three years and out-earn her older, also famous siblings?
She created a brand based on her image
Kylie doesn’t need billboards, commercials, or celebrity endorsements to sell her lip kits. All she needed were lip fillers, an enviable lifestyle, and the 110 million loyal Instagram followers who pour over her stories to find out what’s “in.” Kylie’s lip kits were extremely exclusive in the beginning — she’d sell a set out within minutes — and her fans and followers would have to wait eagerly for the next release and be prepared to pounce lest they wanted to miss out again.
Kylie encountered some heat from followers when she revealed her large pout wasn’t just a result of the right combination of lip kit products: she used lip fillers. Still, like older half-sister Kim Kardashian (Kim’s butt implants contribute in part to her curvy figure), even the assets she paid for can work to her advantage. For example, Kylie recently dissolved all of her lip fillers and Instagrammed a photo with her natural pout, accentuated only by her own Kylie Cosmetics products.
“No other influencer has ever gotten to the volume or had the rabid fans and consistency that Kylie has had for the last two and a half years,” Loren Padelford, who runs, Shopify Plus, told Forbes.
She used social media to her advantage
Kylie utilizes her Instagram and Snapchat to post stories of her newest shades and keep her followers updated on what she does day-to-day (in her lip kits, of course). While 16.4 million fans follower her company account, Kylie’s smart to use her 110 million followers on her personal account to her advantage.
Forbes pointed out how similar to older sister Kim’s sex tape scandal, Kylie’s brand gained name recognition from a scandal of its own. Kylie … well, her lips, specifically … became breaking news in 2014 when fans noticed their increased size. Teenagers began to engage in the “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge,” a fad that involved essentially “cupping” and bruising one’s lips until they swelled in size.
Kylie teased the kits for months on her personal accounts then announced their sale only one day before the launch went live. The kits sold out in under a minute and resellers on eBay notably made $1,000 on a $29-dollar kit just based off Kylie’s name.
“I want to be as big as the other [cosmetic] brands. It’s my dream to be on Forbes,” Kylie told Complex Magazine in a 2016 interview. Just two years later she’s achieved this dream a few times in addition to landing the coveted cover spot. Clearly, Kylie is here to stay.
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