It’s a big day for the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kim Kardashian West is now officially a billionaire, and unlike her sister Kylie – or her soon-to-be-ex-husband, Kanye – this time the numbers might not be lying.
Forbes reported yesterday that the reality star and mogul had joined the World’s Billionaires list for the first time. According to the magazine, her booming businesses, KKW Beauty and Skims, helped her achieve the billionaire benchmark when added to her television show and endorsement deals.
The biggest case for Kim’s billionaire status is her KKW Beauty line, which she launched in 2017. But it’s when cosmetics conglomerate Coty’s (which also bought 51 percent of Kylie Cosmetics) acquired a 20 percent stake for $200 million last year that the business’ value skyrocketed to $1 billion. However, Forbes remarks that this figure is “a little bloated” and suggests her 72 percent stake is more likely worth about $500 million.
Thing is, this wouldn’t be the first time the family has inflated their wealth for a place in Forbes’ elite list. Just recently, Forbes contested Kanye West’s claim to being “the richest Black person in America” with a reported (and then debunked) $6.6 billion networth. However, the most notorious example of course is Kim Kardashian’s little sister Kylie Jenner, whom Forbes stripped of her billionaire title in 2020 after a series of white lies, omissions, and outright fabrications were uncovered. From fake tax returns to leaking sky-high revenue numbers to the press, the Kylie conundrum proved just how cunning the Kardashian-Jenner machine is – and how desperate some of the ultra-rich are to look even richer.
So where does that leave Kim Kardashian West’s billionaire-dom? There’s no doubt that Kim, like her sister, is a savvy businesswoman, but given the latter’s antics, Forbes approached Kardashian West’s finances with more diligence. For instance, sources close to West’s shapewear brand Skims reported that the company is worth north of $500 million. As a result, Forbes estimates her Skims stake is worth a conservative $225 million. This, in addition to cash, investments, real estate, and her million-dollar reality TV career safely puts her within the billionaire bracket. “Not bad for a girl with no talent.”
And yet, this smoke and mirrors business puts a sour taste in our mouths. Why do we ogle the billionaire’s list every year and why are the already-exorbitantly-rich so obsessed with being on it? There are no ethics behind this level of affluence and the inevitable inequality it represents. While Kim Kardashian West’s billionaire status is a sign of personal success, it’s really just part of a broader economic failure that makes the rich richer and keeps the poor poor. But hey, congrats, Kim.