ACCESS DENIED: President-elect Donald Trump and Kylie Jenner share a similar communications strategy: rely on social media to drive news. Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics pop-up store at Westfield Topanga in Canoga Park, Calif., made its debut to much fanfare Friday, but it certainly wasn’t due to traditional press. Prior to the opening, a spokesperson for Jenner said media appeals to photograph or visit the store wouldn’t be accommodated. After it, a request for statistics on the success of Kylie Cosmetics’ retail premiere was denied. The snubs didn’t stop some journalists from showing up, not that they had any luck getting inside. Fashionista and Bustle were among the publications that sent reporters to check out the store, only to discover observing from the sidelines was the best that could be mustered. “No press was invited to preview the shop, or even stand anywhere near it,” wrote Bustle’s Sara Tan.
Although both Trump and Jenner have occasionally entertained old-school press outlets (Jenner was the subject of a cover shoot and profile for Allure’s August issue), their enormous social media audiences mean they don’t have to depend on them to generate buzz. Jenner boasts 80.9 million followers on Instagram and has been a whiz at leveraging Snapchat to spur demand for her beauty brand’s products. Talking to WWD earlier this year about Jenner in anticipation of WWD Beauty Inc honoring Kylie Cosmetics as best indie beauty brand of the year, Laura Nelson, founder and president of Seed Beauty, parent company of Kylie Cosmetics, said, “I find it remarkable the power that her direct voice can have with consumers.” For Jenner, the power of the press pales in comparison to well-timed selfies.
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