Kim Kardashian West reveals her dream collab
After launching KKW Beauty in 2017, Kim Kardashian West has become a formidable force within the beauty industry. Her first product, a contouring and highlight kit, sold out in just under three hours, and each new rollout still generates the same buzz. Here, at the launch of her new KKW pop-up shop at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California, she talks about everything from branding to prison reform—and hints at what’s coming in 2019.
Rose Inc.: You’re well past the one-year anniversary of KKW Beauty. How did you come up with the branding and aesthetic?
Kim Kardashian West: I always knew that I wanted it to be simple. I’m definitely a minimalist myself and I knew I wanted everything to be nude. I went through so many different shades of nude to get it right, and I wanted a blush tone. I’ve had to change a few things here and there and I’ll ask my followers for their input. I had to add black lettering to the liners in order to see the logo better after they said they liked it that way. It’s all a learning process.
"It's important to know what to share and what not to share."
Rose Inc.: Apart from your pop-up shops and your recent partnership with Ulta, KKW Beauty is a direct-to-consumer e-commerce brand. Why is that a business model that works for you? Why did you take that route instead of first stepping into a mass retailer?
KKW: Since I’m the full owner of the brand, I really had a say in how I wanted it to happen. With the fragrances, we really had to market it so well because people are buying a fragrance without smelling it beforehand—but it’s worked! I think my mom and Kylie found a model that worked really well, so why not?
Rose Inc.: You’re the OG influencer. We’ve seen you grow online and you’ve even tapped into doing beauty tutorials. What’s one social media rule that you feel everyone should follow?
KKW: You know, I get asked this all of the time and I think it’s important to know what to share and what not to share. There’s such thing as oversharing and under-sharing online. I definitely share a lot, but I’ve learned to not overdo it. I would also say that being yourself is so important; you should definitely always be yourself online.
"My two biggest glam inspirations are Cher and Naomi Campbell."
Rose Inc.: You just launched the first KKW Beauty Glam Bible just in time for the holidays. Can you tell us a little bit about Volume I?
KKW: For the Glam Bible, I wanted to include everything except skin products such as concealer. I wanted it all to be very universal. I picked highlighters and blush colors that could work with all skin tones, along with two different lip colors, lip liner, lashes, mascara, eyeliner, and a six-pan eyeshadow palette. I wanted everything to be in one place, and if someone’s buying a gift for someone and they know nothing about makeup, just buy the Glam Bible and it’s all in there for you.
Rose Inc.: You’ve collaborated with Kylie, Mario [Dedivanovic], Argenis Pinal who won Glam Masters, and I’m sure there’s more coming. If you could collaborate with anyone in the world for KKW Beauty, who would it be?
KKW: Cher! She’s done the most amazing makeup looks on the planet. I just love her. My two biggest glam inspirations in life are Cher and Naomi Campbell.
Rose Inc.: Apart from beauty, the show, and everything else that you do, you’re also very passionate about certain causes. We’ve seen you fight for prison reform, stricter gun laws, helping the homeless, and more. Do you have any advice for anyone who may be looking to get involved more in social justice but isn’t sure where to start?
KKW: Absolutely. I was just talking about this in my last interview and explained how everyone was pushing me to get into something. You know, I’ve always been involved in charity work and community but I was never involved in anything where I thought, “Okay, I’m going to put in my own money to help these people do this or do that” until I got into prison reform. When you know more about something and you’re passionate about it, you want to do more. I work with amazing organizations where anyone can help. They all love help and people wanting to know more and learn more. I work with #cut50 a lot, who write bills and are getting great things passed and doing so many amazing things. There’s just so much that can be done.
"When you know more about something and you’re passionate about it, you want to do more."
Rose Inc.: What’s next for KKW Beauty? Is there anything exciting you can share about 2019 for the brand?
KKW: I’m so excited for 2019, and we pretty much have the whole year mapped out already. I have a few collaborations and fragrances coming out that I’m really, really excited about. I also have some really amazing palettes coming out—they’re my absolute go-tos. —Andrea Navarro. Photos: Getty Images. The KKW Beauty pop-up shop will remain open at South Coast Plaza through February.