Kylie Jenner to Become Youngest Billionaire – But is She Really ‘Self-Made’?
Reality television star and cosmetics mogul Kylie Jenner’s net worth of $900 million has landed her on the newest cover of Forbes magazine and the 20-year-old could soon become the youngest self-made billionaire ever, a title that had previously belonged to Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, who became a billionaire at the age of 23.
Richest in the Family
Kylie may be the youngest of the Kardashian clan but she’s has already accumulated a net worth greater than all of her sisters’ combined. Gracing the latest cover of Forbes magazine, the 20-year-old boasts a net worth of $900 million, whereas big sister Kim Kardashian West, has a significantly lower net worth of $350 million.
Kendal Jenner, who is the highest paid model in the fashion industry, made $22 million in 2017 – an impressive number, but not even close to her youngest sister’s earning figure.
Not only is Kylie the wealthiest of the Kardashian family, she is also on her way to becoming the youngest ‘self-made’ billionaire in the world, according to the magazine, thanks to her eponymous makeup line of lipsticks, lip glosses, lip liners and eye shadow kits.
Last week, Forbes revealed that all of Kylie’s combined earnings from product endorsements, reality TV shows and her company Kylie Cosmetics tally up to a cool $900 million – only a hundred million short of making her the youngest billionaire at the age of 20.
A Mix of Fame and Fortune
Of course, none of it would have been possible if Jenner hadn’t been born into the most iconic celebrity family in today’s age. But apart from the shock that has followed after Forbes released the jaw-dropping figure, Kylie’s wealth serves as the biggest example of celebrities in the entertainment business using their fame as leverage to build successful businesses.
Had her name appeared on the list of Forbes’ richest celebrities in America, she would have ranked between David Copperfield at number five with a net worth of $875 million and basketball star Michael Jordan who is the fourth richest with over $1.4 billion in net worth. Even though Miss Jenner is no Oprah Winfrey, her wealth far exceeds that of some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry including Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Diddy.
Experts claim that Kylie’s latest feat is the result of her social media influence on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, as well as her mother’s business savvy that helped pave a way towards establishing a successful brand.
Perks of Being a Celebrity
Celebrities have far greater leverage for launching a new business than any other entrepreneur because of their already-established fan base eager to buy any product their idol will launch or promote, as well as multiple income streams which make them financially capable of launching a company or product. But despite having that leverage, celebrities must struggle to meet the ever-changing demands of customer, and their preference for brands that relatable and unique.
Beauty analyst Alison Gaither says that Kylie Jenner has mastered the art of keeping a mysterious persona over the past year which has created a media buzz around her personal life. This has eventually helped her in building brand recognition and staying relatable even when consumers tend of have a short attention span.
Jenner surprised fans earlier this year by revealing the birth of her baby daughter Stormy with rapper Travis Scott, after she had masterfully kept her pregnancy a secret from the entire world.
Social Media Presence
The young social media sensation has made huge strides in the beauty industry using her impressive fan following of 111 million Instagram users and serves as an example to aspiring entrepreneurs that with the right marketing strategies, anyone can start a successful business.
Miss Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, which started off in 2016 with liquid lipsticks and lip glosses priced at $29 per kit, has now turned into an $800 million luxury makeup line competing against the likes of Estee Lauder and L’Oreal Paris.
In 2017 alone, the company sold products worth over $330 million with social media marketing being the core strategy driving its success.
Marketing professor at University of Pittsburgh, Vanitha Swaminathan, says that Kylie’s consumer market is mostly made up of her die-hard fans who invest in her makeup products to feel closer to their idol.
Do you agree with Forbes’ claim that Kylie Jenner is a ‘self-made’ businesswoman?
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