BEVERLY HILLS — Say this for the Kardashian sisters — they are ambitious.
The seemingly ubiquitous threesome have ridden their E network reality television show, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” to fame and are striving to make it last more than 15 minutes by creating a fashion brand.
This story first appeared in the August 6, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Kim, Kourtney and Khloe, in partnership with Australian designer Bruno Schiavi’s Jupi Corp., plan to launch ready-to-wear, accessories, lingerie, swim and shoes next year. The season has not been decided.
“We obviously waited on a big partnership like this for a long time because we’ve had so many different offers and we wanted to make sure that we had a huge say in the design and that our personalities would come through,” Kim said in her Beverly Hills living room, legs propped on Khloe’s lap as they sat with Schiavi on a beige velvet couch while cameras rolled for the show’s fifth season.
The Kardashians own Dash boutiques in Calabasas, Calif., and Miami and design a collection for Bebe that retails through resort 2011. Kim also designs a costume jewelry line with Pascal Mouawad.
“Designing for Bebe was the perfect first step because it really got our feet wet,” Kim said. “Now we feel that we are ready to branch off and do our own thing with a company that is widely international.”
In addition to the U.S., their venture will target mass department stores in 17 countries such as House of Fraser and Debenhams in the U.K. and Saudi Arabia, Meyer in Australia and Karstadt in Germany.
Schiavi, who met the sisters 18 months ago, said, “I can lead them from a customer’s perspective and a manufacturing point of view, but these girls are fashion designers already, so they know exactly what they want. From our perspective, it’s all about making sure the girls are involved from step one. They have creative control over everything, from the advertising campaign to where we launch.”
The clothing line will consist of classic Kardashian staples that fit and flatter various body types, such as one-shoulder dresses, jumpsuits, blazers and leggings. Schiavi described it as “a tailored look that fits curves.”
“All three of us have similar bones, but we have different shapes and sizes — I’m tall, Kim is curvy and Kourtney is petite — and we know how to dress up our best assets,” Khloe said. “We wanted everything to be no-fuss, buy it and wear it. These are pieces that you could wear the next season or forever.”
Other categories, such as lingerie, will be more indicative of the sisters’ individual styles. For example, Kim’s lingerie will have an Old Hollywood feel, Khloe’s will be more rocker with an edge, and Kourtney’s will have a bohemian emphasis. Trims such as lace will unite all three groups. Handbags also will reflect the sisters’ individual styles, such as Kim’s love of clutches and Khloe’s penchant for oversize handbags. Some of the pieces will be for a new demographic — young mothers like Kourtney, who gave birth to son Mason in December. “Now that I am a mom, flats are my new best friends,” she said. “I love what’s easy but still stylish.”
Schiavi said he hasn’t set price points yet.
“We recognize they each have their own following and they are very much an item together, as well,” he said of the sisters, adding, “We are not going to be retailing blazers at $600. We are going to be reaching everybody while still leading with trends.”
The sisters will model in the advertising campaign, which will cover television, print and billboards.
“This is a collection that is going to last a long time,” said Shiavi, who estimated first-year U.S. sales in the $20 million to $40 million range across categories.