When Forbes deemed Kylie Jenner the youngest-ever self-made billionaire, there was a ton of controversy and debate. And for fair reason, as to the uninitiated, it may sound like an absurd joke. “Oh of course this pampered rich kid could amass a fortune! How is this news?” But despite her very privileged upbringings, there is more to Jenner than meets the eye. She could’ve easily spent her life drinking on a yacht, but she had much larger goals in mind.
In fact, allegedly at 15 years old, her parents Kris and Caitlyn Jenner cut her off from their income. And in 2019, at age 21 she beat out Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg (23) as the youngest self-made billionaire.
So how did this powerful woman amass enough wealth to be able to call herself the youngest self-made billionaire in the world? And is she now the savviest tycoon in a whole family of tycoons? Or is this all smoke and mirrors? Let’s find out.
Keeping Up With the Kardashians
Right from the beginning, Kylie Jenner was taught how to sell her brand. She was most notably introduced to the world as a tween on the hit show on E! The crown jewel in the Kardashian-Jenner dynasty, this show is what solidified the image for all parties involved. Kylie’s role on Keeping Up With the Kardashians boosted both her fame and her bank accounts.
Keeping Up With the Kardashians gave fans a chance to watch Kylie grow up and fall in love with her as a celebrity icon. This proved to be helpful later down the line when she amassed millions of social media followers, most notably on Instagram and Snapchat. Additionally, she briefly starred in her personal spin-off show Life of Kylie.
It’s important to recognize the function of these shows. Nobody is “being themselves” for the camera. It’s as much of a product and a performance as anything else. So the fact that Kylie was able to create such a watchable celebrity presence at such a young age, just proved she’d have a very successful career as an influencer.
Kendall + Kylie Clothing
The year of being cut off from her family’s finances was also the year that Kylie teamed up with her older sister Kendall Jenner, to release a clothing line for PacSun. For those already indoctrinated into the Jenner Sisters’ fandom, this was the deal of the lifetime. Who wouldn’t want to dress like Kendal + Kylie? The clothing brand was and still is quite successful.
The two sisters have expanded beyond PacSun, and now there are around 975 locations worldwide that sell their brand. Fans can purchase their clothing line on Amazon or at other high-ticket sites such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and more.
Similar to Keeping Up with the Kardashians, fans flock to Kylie’s Instagram page for a taste of her life. She has over 240 million followers, and she’s very consistent and meticulous about what she posts. Every one of her photos is eye catching, aesthetically pleasing, and nothing short of luxurious. Which makes her the perfect candidate for advertising.
What brand wouldn’t want Kylie Jenner, a successful young woman whom people adore, at their forefront? Kylie is worth at least one million dollars in advertising alone. On her Instagram account, she endorses several different brands in paid promotional posts. The brands that pay her are spending a lot, but it’s an offer they can’t pass up. For example, the online brand Fashion Nova skyrocketed after Kylie Jenner started promoting their outfits. They probably made a fortune off of her promoting and paid her a fortune for promoting.
She also uses social media to promote her and her sister’s brands. Kylie tells her fans what shade of her lip line she is wearing, or whenever she’s about to launch a new product. Once a new item in the Kylie line is unveiled, the hype is through the roof.
But out of all the factors in Jenner’s success story, this is the one that pushed her over the top. She is the President of Kylie Cosmetics. That’s right, her own company, and not her family’s. This has proved itself an incredibly successful and appealing brand, to the point where conglomerate Coty, Inc. purchased 51% of it for $600 Million.
In 2015, Kylie decided to use her own money to purchase lip kits, advertise them, and sell them. Initially, these lip kits were only sold online. As Kylie further expanded her company, she made a deal with ULTA to launch her products there. Additionally, Kylie attended some of these launch events. And the launched items sold out within hours. The products have consistently shown themselves highly valuable, as they always come in beautiful colors and packaging. Besides, who wouldn’t want to be made up like Kylie Jenner?
But is she lying?
So at the end of the day, the question remains. Is Kylie as intelligent and successful as her fans believe? Or is she just another spoiled rich girl like her haters believe? Well, both answers seem to be true. Because as much as we’ve praised her accomplishments, some of it has proved itself a façade. In 2020, a year after Forbes declared her a billionaire, the same publication took it back, alleging that Jenner forged her tax documents to seem more valuable than she actually is. This was a disappointing revelation, but not a surprising one.
“As usual, we asked the Jenners for input on our numbers. But pressed for answers on the many discrepancies, the typically chatty family did something out of character: They stopped answering our questions.”-Forbes
But all of this being said, Kylie Jenner is still very young. And a $700 Million net worth is no slouch either. Besides, every rich person from Kanye West to Elon Musk is guilty of her same sins. So despite everything, us here at Liz Fe still have our eyes on Kylie. The fact that she’s made it this far is inspiring to us, and when she goes even farther, it’s sure to lead to something amazing.
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