World, get ready for…Kim Kardashian, lifestyle brand.
This story first appeared in the November 5, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
It may sound like a flaky idea to some, but the reality star is already methodically making her mark on fragrance, skin care and color cosmetics. Next up: fashion.
“My sisters and I are working on a line, a lifestyle brand that will launch next year,” she said while sitting poised on a lounge upstairs at Villa Pacri, in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. She was sporting a cream Josh Goot dress, coordinated Cesare Paciotti five-something-inch platforms, sparkling hoops and an oversize bangle by Loren Jewels.
It was a laborious day, full of on- and off-camera interviews, hoopla that surrounded a deal to front products by cosmetics company Fusion Brands Inc. — and her stint in Gotham to shoot her newest iteration of reality: “Kourtney & Kim Take New York.”
“It will consist of swimwear, lingerie, ready-to-wear, denim, even a home line,” Kardashian said of the forthcoming fashion collection. (K-Dash by Kardashian, a collection of denim, jackets, tops and bags, was launched on QVC in September.)
For now, she is content to immerse herself in the bedlam of fashion shows as a buyer rather than — despite the flashbulbs, the jostling of photographers, reporters and bloggers — the consummate front row celeb.
“When we go to fashion shows, it’s kind of work because we’re looking to buy for our store,” she said, referencing Dash, her new clothing boutique, which opened Wednesday evening in SoHo and is the linchpin of “Kourtney & Kim Take New York.”
The show, scheduled to make its debut on the E network in January, is an extension of a concept that’s gone from “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” to “Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami,” where Kim’s two sisters opened and run a Dash boutique.
“We go [to fashion shows] obviously for the fun of it and for that whole experience, but we’re there as buyers more so than anything else. So we just try and find — you know, each of our stores have different customers, so we kind of look — we’ll know if we see certain pieces: ‘That would be good for the Miami store, now the New York store, or [the] Calabasas [Calif. store].’ ”
She confided that her sisters are a support system — although the three reportedly are rarely together in the same city at the same time.
“I’m superindecisive, so working with my sisters makes it easy when we’re coming up with designs and making decisions,” she said. “I think that’s something we’re going to be really excited [about], to hopefully build this great brand and empire in the clothing world.”
And, when it comes to building an empire, apparently there’s no better time than the present.
“I’m single, it’s the perfect time for me to really get away. I don’t have any real responsibilities at home, so I could just pack up and go.”
When asked what was new regarding that obsession of the tabloids, her love life, she deadpanned, “Absolutely nothing.”
But then she added, “There’s a lot of speculation. I think I’m dating like 10 people right now. I wish it was all true. I wish I was having that much fun.”
The subject of mom Kris Jenner’s attempts to recruit guys for her arose, and Kim’s take was, “Oh, she was trying to come up with ideas and I just would never listen to her advice again.
“I’ve realized it’s really hard to date when you live your life on a reality show. So I think this time around I’m just taking everything extremely slow. And trying to not really dive into anything because I just don’t have the time. And I feel like now is the only time when I can be completely selfish and I don’t really have any personal responsibilities as far as having a husband, and having kids.
“And I’m a workaholic, so it works.”
It’s not all about TV, fashion and suitors, though. There’s music — rumors are now swirling that she wants to give singing a go. For now, though, she’s enjoying Katy Perry, Rihanna and Eminem on her iPod. And when asked about her ringtone, she proceeded in her best soft-spoken holler to get the attention of her makeup artist, Joyce Bonelli.
“Joyce! Do you wanna demonstrate my ringtone?” Turning back, Kardashian said, “This is it, exactly, no joke.”
“Hi gorgeous!” Bonelli squealed, repeating, “Hi gorgeous!” “Hi gorgeous!”
“Uh-huh!” reacted Kardashian, explaining that she recorded Bonelli’s voice to put on her phone. “She talks so amazing and it really brightens you up in the morning and she screams.…Wait, say how you really say it — like loud,” she told Bonelli.
“Oh my god, really?”
“Yeah — this is it, like, really.”
It was good for a laugh for the room full of photographers, handlers and cameramen.
“That’s how it is,” Kardashian said, “and it’s over and over and over.”
Regarding beauty, she recalled her appearance at Macy’s on Oct. 27 to introduce her signature feminine fragrance, which was created in conjunction with Lighthouse Beauty and fragrance supplier Givaudan. “The fragrance is doing amazing; it was insane at Macy’s.”
She noted Khloe and husband Lamar Odom, who plays basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers, have a fragrance in the works with Lighthouse, saying, “We’re all perfectionists, so if they can’t come up with the perfect scent, they just need to wait and do it on their own time, when it’s absolutely perfect. My fragrance actually took two years to create. I was torturing that poor fragrance house and made them redo it like 30 times.”
In spring, Kardashian launched, along with Kourtney, Khloe and PerfectScience Labs LLC, a treatment line called PerfectSkin. The range, carried at perfectskinnow.com, comprises three- and five-item regimens of cleanser, toner, moisturizer, mask and eye cream priced from about $40 to $80.
“Me, Khloe and Kourtney have different skin types, so we wanted easy products,” she said. “So, when people — our fans and everyone — were asking, ‘What products do you use?’ we’re like, ‘Why don’t we just market this ourselves?’ It’s been really successful.”
Also last spring, Kardashian joined Fusion Brands to be the face of its IllumiFill Line Filling Luminizer, an antiaging color-treatment item. She’s also fronting the beauty firm’s lip plumping LipFusion and LipFusion Infatuation glosses. The latter has an ingredient called Amplifat, which claims to “promote [one’s] lips’ own natural fatty acids for…lip volume.”
Essentially the brand’s spokeswoman, one with an already substantial pout, Kardashian, 30, explained, “When I was in high school, there was one product that was a lip plumper. My sister made me put it on, and it felt like bee stings all over my lips. I loved how it looked but I could never go through that. I would never want to kiss someone with that on and have them feel that.”
However, she is completely behind these products, especially a LipFusion capsule collection for holiday, called Objects of Desire. The limited edition line includes four LipFusion Color Shine shades and is highlighted by two shades of Virtual Finishing Powder, which come in snappy, vintage-style atomizers. Each item is priced at $29.
“I have my blog that I do lots of beauty blogs on,” said Kardashian, touting Amplifat. “I feel like my brand is a brand for the fans, my fans, because I just give them what they’re asking. Being a little bit ahead of the curve. It’s like, ‘What lip gloss do you use?’ ‘OK, well, this is what I really use.’ And skin care and fragrance. I feel like I have a great relationship with my fans and they’ve really gravitated toward the products I am using.”
Of the Fusion union, she said, “I just thought it was a really good match, a really good fit.”
What might not have been quite as good a fit for Kardashian (who surprisingly can become timid when she feels uncomfortable) was exposing all of her considerable and much admired assets at a photo shoot for W’s “The Art Issue,” even if the magazine did crown her “The Queen of Reality TV.”
There was a stop while she talked last week about the experience.
“I think when you do a shoot like that, it’s really vulnerable. And it’s scary. You know, I.…
“As much as you think you’re prepared to do a shoot like that, especially when you’re nude and there’s lighting and production and everything around, it is a scary thing to do.
“But I love the way it turned out. Everyone was really great to work with and it’s really empowering.”
As for her reality TV profile, Kardashian paid tribute to those who came before and created the genre-that-never-ceases-to-amaze-or-depress. The Aug. 22 premiere of season five of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” reportedly drew 4.7 million viewers, a 14 percent increase versus the prior season. It was said to have been E’s second most-watched telecast — behind the same show’s season four send-off.
“There’s lots of shows that I love and watched, like ‘The Osbournes’ and so many other great reality shows. I wouldn’t say we were the first. I think we’re pretty strong just from ratings and numbers,” she said, as if she were talking about “Masterpiece Theater.”
“We’ve proven to be just a strong show that’s continuing. And we’ve been around for five seasons so far. I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.
“When I involve myself in a project, I full-force dive in and I really want to be involved in every way possible.
“So, I would love the title ‘The Queen of Reality.’ I’ll take it.”
At least for her reality.