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How Kim Kardashian Built Her Fashion and Beauty Empire

Layla Ilchi

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Over the last few years, Kim Kardashian West has proven she’s a force to be reckoned with in the fashion and beauty industries, creating businesses that now compete with some of the biggest names in the market.

Since E!’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” first aired in 2007, Kardashian has become a fixture in the cultural lexicon, leveraging her fame alongside her sisters Khloé and Kourtney to transition their reality personas into a tangible business.

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Read More: The Evolution of the Kardashian-Jenner-West Fashion and Beauty Empires

The Kardashian sisters made their first foray into fashion in 2006 with Dash, a boutique with locations in Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Southampton, which later became the subject of another reality TV show, “Dash Dolls.”

The trio then embarked on a number of fashion partnerships, including with Australian designer Bruno Schiavi’s Jupi Corp. for a ready-to-wear collection, QVC for their K-Dash contemporary sportswear line, Bebe for a collection inspired by streetwear trends and with Sears to launch their Kardashian Kollection at 700 locations.

In the beauty space, the Kardashian sisters launched Khroma Beauty in 2012 in a licensing deal with Boldface Licensing + Branding, entering Ulta Beauty with 60 stock-keeping units. The brand faced legal trouble from Kroma Makeup, which filed a lawsuit against the Kardashian sisters’ brand, stating it violated copyright infringement because of the similarity between the brands’ names.

They later changed their brand’s name to Kardashian Beauty and collaborated with Farouk Systems to create a hair-care line, which is still available for purchase at Amazon and Walmart.

As many of these businesses proved unsuccessful — including Dash, which shuttered its last door in 2018 — Kardashian has since embarked on her own solo fashion and beauty ventures, many of which have become major players in the industry.

After collaborating with half-sister Kylie Jenner — the two launched the KKW by Kylie Cosmetics crème lipstick set in April 2017, generating $13.5 million — Kardashian revealed KKW Beauty two months later. Kardashian leveraged her well-known contoured makeup look to launch the Crème Contour & Highlight Kit, which sold out immediately and brought in $14.4 million in sales.

If makeup wasn’t enough, Kardashian then introduced KKW Fragrance that November, launching a trio of crystal-themed fragrances that generated $14.3 million in sales.

Kardashian has since grown both beauty brands exponentially, with KKW Beauty expanding to all makeup categories — including a recent collaboration with model Winnie Harlow — and with KKW Fragrance growing to include over five fragrance pillars.

She then looked to the shapewear industry as her next venture; however, she was not met with the same initial success as her beauty brands. Kardashian revealed in June she would be launching a shapewear brand, named Kimono, which offered nine nude shades of bras, underwear and bodysuits.

While the brand’s name was meant as a play on her own name, Kardashian was met with immense social media backlash accusing her of cultural appropriation, including by the mayor of Kyoto, Japan.

Kardashian later revealed she would be changing the brand’s name to Skims, finally launching the brand in September.

With three fashion and beauty brands now under her belt, it’s only a matter of time before Kardashian embarks on a new venture.

Click through the above gallery to see pictures of the WWD’s archival images of the Kardashian-Jenner-West family through the last decade.

Read more here:

Kardashian Kloset: What to Know About the New Kardashian Venture

Kim Kardashian Files Trademark for Baby Psalm West

Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner Collaborate on Fragrance 

WATCH: How Paris Hilton Became a Branding Powerhouse 

Launch Gallery: The Kardashian-Jenner-West Family Photos Through Time

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