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NEW YORK — When it comes to building her fashion business, there’s nothing braggadocio about Kim Kardashian.
The reality TV star-cum-fashion entrepreneur came to Bloomingdale’s 59th Street on Wednesday to promote her Belle Noel jewelry collection created in collaboration with Pascal Mouawad. As anticipated, she was dressed to kill, in a low-cut Milly dress, thigh-high Louboutin boots and lots of hardware from the upcoming holiday and spring Belle Noel lines — leather and gold bangles, a gold hair chain, big hoop earrings.
This story first appeared in the September 22, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
However, in the following Q&A, Kardashian displayed restraint in discussing her fashion philosophy and approach to jewelry, which she doesn’t wear 24-7, and expectations for growing her fashion business.
WWD: How is your jewelry collection evolving?
Kim Kardashian: When you start something the first season, I get so excited. It’s intimidating in the first season. In the second and third seasons, it gets better and better. You know your limits, you know what your customer wants and you know what you want to go for. This hair chain [that she was wearing] is one of our bestsellers. It’s exciting to know that it’s become a staple piece.
WWD: What’s your role in the design process?
K.K.: Basically, I travel a lot, so if I am looking through magazines or a piece of carpeting or colors on a wall, I take pictures on my phone and send them to my design partner. We have meetings once a month. We go over everything that inspires us. She gets the renderings made. Her name is Brook and we just really collaborate. She knows more about the metals and I kind of do the designs. I am really, really picky about my finishes and we also have to make sure the pieces are not too heavy, especially earrings.
WWD: Those loop earrings you’re wearing look like they have some heft.
K.K.: They actually are a lot lighter than you would think. I love hoops. Hoops are also a constant in my line. But I have to make sure that they are light enough.
WWD: How would you describe the Kardashian aesthetic?
K.K.: I would say both glitz and glam, polished and put together. I’m really big on accessories, more so than my sisters. I love to accessorize. I think more is more when it comes to fun accessories. I stack on both hands whereas some people only stack on one hand. And they probably wouldn’t do a hair chain with earrings. They would probably do a more simple stud.
WWD: Are you wearing jewelry 24-7?
K.K.: No. I don’t wear it to work out. I see people that work out all the time with their jewelry on. I was leaving the gym yesterday and I didn’t have my [wedding] ring on and there was all these photographers taking pictures and I said to my sister, “Just watch, Kourtney. You will see a story [bearing the headline] ‘Kim Without Her Ring. Trouble in Paradise.’ And Kourtney said, ‘But you are in your gym clothes. Who would ever wear their ring to the gym?’ and I said, ‘You’d be surprised.’” I see women coming to the gym with earrings on. I can’t do it.
WWD: Do you wear jewelry to sleep at night?
K.K.: No, for some reason I need it all off, though people do. They sleep with their earrings on.
WWD: What’s the next step for building the Kardashian fashion empire?
K.K.: Sustaining it. With our Sears line, we are branching out to swimwear, home and denim. But what’s so fun is continuing the lines we have and, in jewelry, it’s something I do independently from my sisters. That’s kind of rewarding when they see pieces and really like it and want it. It’s all mine. It’s something I do without them. I love kind of diving into this.
WWD: Is there any new fashion avenue that you are contemplating?
K.K.: Not really. We have our line with QVC that we sell on air. Between that, Sears and my jewelry line, it’s kind of full. I like to give full attention to the projects I am working on. Make it manageable. I really like to dive into that. You know my grandmother has owned a clothing store since I was little. I would always work at her store. I couldn’t wait to go there on weekends. My sisters and I have always been intrigued by fashion. My first job was working at a clothing store.
WWD: Have you bought anything at Bloomingdale’s today?
K.K.: I am trying to secretly look as I walk by. Unfortunately, I don’t have time. Not yet. New York has the best stuff, though.