The reality star turned mega-influencer, Kim Kardashian West has entered the beauty game, and according to her interview with BOF, she means business! It came to no surprise at all that on the cover of the report she was clothesless, but we digress. What we were more interested in knowing was: how was she able to completely sell-out concealers and perfumes by solely selling online?
Just a year ago, following her youngest sister’s footsteps, Kim decided it was time to be in full control of what she would associate her name with and that meant, leaving behind licensing deals and becoming a full-on CEO! Because she launched her beauty line KKW Beauty with contouring kits, we do feel she should have joined in earlier, but as they say: “Better late, than Never.” And let’s be honest, everyone wants a piece of the pie especially when it’s worth 500 billion dollars!
From what we understand, this is an entirely new world for Kim; she has had to learn how to swatch, face even more criticism, this time by acclaimed beauty experts and went as far as opening her home to Vloggers. We’re pretty sure this comes with the territory, but now Kim can be seen on Youtube sitting with beauty vloggers on their channel as they try on new looks on her (by using KKW beauty products of course). Not only it’s a great way to market the products it also allows her to reach an even more significant audience. Yes, even with her 110 Million Followers, her daily Instagram posts and instastories, youtube can be useful when you want to convince people to buy your products.
According to BOF’s first report on the beauty industry, Kim Kardashian “beauty line raked in an estimated turnover of more than $100 million in revenue in its first year, which sits alongside her other incomes.” Giving the fact that none of her products are placed in stores, and she doesn’t do any traditional advertising to promote the brand, Kim owes it all to social media! But most importantly her skills of knowing how to use it to her advantage, which is something she understood from the very start by endorsing other brands throughout her career. Kim firmly believes, and she has the revenues to prove it: if you explain the product well, do enough tutorials, people will not only know what to buy but will know what will work for them. As we are currently living in the e-commerce era, we can understand how it has worked for her and Kylie. Which by the way, starting 2022, Kylie Cosmetics will make every year a billion dollar. However, we do have trouble understanding how so many people were able to buy those contouring kits when there are only FOUR shades available.
The Business of Fashion did an excellent report about Kim’s business, but to us, some questions weren’t asked. We don’t want to take digs at Kim, but there are a few things we don’t understand. For instance, how did she not think of doing more tones for her creme contour kits? If she wears a medium what would other people wear? Did she really think “deep” and “deep dark” would be sufficient for people of darker complexion? How would two different tones, give them enough range to choose from. We feel the same way about her “light,” contour stick: not enough variety. In the end, Kim did receive backlash for it, especially on youtube when vloggers received their press kits and we do think she might have learned from it. Her sixteen different concealer shades are proof. But for the life of us, we would like to know how does one sell perfumes online? Thank God, Kim has superfans because, just by knowing the ingredients, one cannot buy such item. We all know that not only the smell is different on a paper but it also varies according to your skin. Kim recently announced that she has a new fragrance coming up, but unless they’re selling out in less than an hour like Kylie’s lip kits, we would highly suggest, just for business purposes that she’ll consider having her fragrances in stores.
As BOF pointed out, Kim’s talent merely is, that she’s a savvy businesswoman. We all can agree with that, but at times we do think, for someone who has mixed kids, she seems to be clueless about the inclusivity that should be implied when putting together a beauty brand. It may be because North is not experimenting with makeup yet, but we do hope that, with the help of her fans that she will consider more skin tones when launching new products. She said it herself; she uses the comments on Twitter and Instagram as a focus group. Therefore we will hold her up to it.
By Anne-Isabelle Saint-Pierre