How Kim Kardashian Built Her Fashion and Beauty Empire

Including her recent $200 million deal with Coty Inc.

Over the last few years, Kim Kardashian West has proven she’s an entrepreneurial force to be reckoned with in the fashion and beauty industries, and now she’s upping the ante on her business portfolio with a new deal with Coty Inc.

On June 29 it was announced that Coty Inc. signed a licensing deal with Kardashian for her KKW Beauty brand, paying $200 million for a 20 percent stake in her business The deal follows a similar one between Coty and Kardashian’s half-sister, Kylie Jenner, who sold a 51 percent stake in her Kylie Cosmetics business to the company for $600 million in November.

Coty’s stake is in Kardashian’s existing beauty business, which includes makeup and fragrance. The agreement will also cover beauty categories Kardashian has yet to enter, focusing on skin care as well as personal-care products, hair care and nails.

Now that Kardashian is growing her portfolio once again with the Coty deal, WWD looks back at how the reality TV star built her fashion and beauty empire.

Kardashian first launched KKW Beauty in June 2017 by leveraging her well-known contoured makeup look with her first product: the Crème Contour and Highlight Kit. The product immediately sold out upon launch, generating $14.4 million in sales.

The reality TV star first did a litmus test of sorts before launching KKW Beauty by teaming with Jenner on a KKW by Kylie Cosmetics crème lipstick collection a few months prior. The collaboration generated $13.5 million in sales.

After the launch of KKW Beauty, Kardashian entered the fragrance space with KKW Fragrance later that November by launching a trio of crystal-themed fragrances.

Both her makeup and fragrance businesses have grown exponentially since launch three years ago. Kardashian has expanded the beauty line to virtually all makeup products and the fragrance brand to over six scent pillars.

She’s also embarked on several collaborations, including with the likes of Winnie Harlow, Mario Dedivanovic and other members of the Kardashian-Jenner family.

Kardashian looked to the shapewear industry in June 2019 as her next business venture, but wasn’t met with the same initial success as her beauty brand. The reality TV star revealed the shapewear line under the name Kimono, offering a range of bras, underwear and bodysuits in nine nude shades.

She was immediately met with backlash over the brand’s name, with many accusing Kardashian of cultural appropriation including the mayor of Kyoto, Japan, Daisaku Kadokawa, who wrote an open letter to Kardashian asking her to drop the trademark.

Kardashian later revealed she was changing the brand’s name to Skims and launched the line in September. She’s since expanded the brand to include shapewear, underwear, loungewear and face masks.

Kardashian’s mother, Kris Jenner, revealed in late September that the family was launching another fashion venture, called Kardashian Kloset. The new e-commerce site allows customers to shop directly from the Kardashian-Jenner family’s designer closets.

The site includes collections for each member of the family, with Kim Kardashian’s listing apparel, shoes and handbags from brands like Jacquemus, Manolo Blahnik, Celine, and Rick Owens. Pieces for her collection range in price from $125 for a Baja East skirt to $50,000 for an Hermès rare crocodile Kelly handbag.

Before her own solo fashion and beauty businesses, Kardashian teamed with sisters Kourtney and Khloé in 2006 to launch Dash, a fashion boutique with locations in Los Angeles, New York City, Miami and Southampton. The store later became the subject of another reality TV show, “Dash Dolls.” Dash ultimately shuttered its doors in 2018.

The Kardashian sisters teamed again in 2012 to launch Khroma Beauty in a licensing deal with Boldface Licensing + Branding, launching at Ulta Beauty with 60 stock-keeping units of makeup.

The brand faced legal trouble when it was sued by Kroma Makeup over copyright infringement because of the similarity between both brands’ names. The Kardashians later changed the brand’s name to Kardashian Beauty and collaborated with Farouk Systems to create a hair-care line.

The Kardashian sisters embarked on several short-lived fashion collaborations over the years, including with Australian designer Bruno Schiavi’s Jupi Corp. for a ready-to-wear collection, with QVC for their K-Dash contemporary sportswear line, with Bebe for a collection inspired by streetwear trends and with Sears to launch their Kardashian Kollection at 700 locations.

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