Forbes Named Kylie Jenner The Youngest ‘Self-made Billionaire’

The Kardashian family are certainly no strangers to fame and fortune. Kylie Jenner, the youngest member of the clan now has a net worth of one billion dollars at the age of 21! She has surpassed her even more famous sisters, all of whom have had various business ventures, remember the DASH boutique chain? It would be no surprise if not at all the stores closed after 12 years. Kim Kardashian has had greater fame from an infamous sex tape, eventually becoming a reality TV star.

Kylie Jenner’s business has been an altogether different story.

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How has Kylie Jenner made so much money?

Kylie Jenner founded Kylie Cosmetics three years ago. Kylie’s company has found success in selling liquid Lipstick and Lip Liner sets. Year on year since 2015, the Lip kits have continued to massively outsell on the previous year. By 2018, Jenner’s company was valued at $900 million, by November Kylie Cosmetics had a new distribution deal with Ulta Beauty, a chain of 1,124 stores. Entering the Ulta Beauty stores caused the value of Kyle Jenner’s net worth to reach over one billion dollars. At this point, Forbes crowned Kylie Jenner “the world’s youngest self-made billionaire ever.”

Reaction to the news

Kylie Jenner and the Kardashian family have many fans all over the world. These fans have fueled the wealth of the family. Obviously, Kylie’s sisters promoted her success and there were plenty of superfans on Twitter congratulating their young idol.

Not all the sentiment was so positive. Many commentators had an issue with the title including the words ‘self-made’. Many Twitter users threatened to stop following Forbes and to end their subscriptions to the magazine. To be fair, it’s not difficult to see why there has been an outcry. Kylie Jenner has hardly started from the bottom. She was born into privilege and wealth. Her father was a former successful Olympic decathlon athlete and her mother is the very successful businesswoman behind the Kardashian reality TV shows, Kris Jenner. Some people have felt that Kylie simply inherited the money, one Twitter user labeled her a “Millionaire trust fund kid”. Another tweeted, “she grew up rich with all the privileges that come with her family wealth. She’s a good businesswoman, no doubt about it. But self-made?”

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Clearly, the common theme amongst the negative feedback is the fact that Kylie Jenner comes from a very wealthy family. Her fortune began to develop when she was young. Being part of a reality TV show created a fan base for her. Instagram and social media following have helped Kylie Jenner’s popularity, allowing her to promote herself and her cosmetic products. This platform has made her a marketable commodity which has obviously made her journey to even bigger riches all the easier. It has been estimated that for each sponsored Instagram post-Kylie Jenner makes $1 million dollars. It would be very questionable if Kylie Jenner would have had such influence if she hadn’t been part of the Kardashian reality TV show. Kylie has also benefitted from the business acumen of her ‘Momager’ Kris. Kris Jenner has been the brains behind the whole Kardashian Empire and has been managing her daughters and former husband from the start. If it wasn’t for Kris Jenner’s business skills, it’s possible that we might not have ever heard of the Kardashians (apart from that O.J Simpson business of course). It should therefore not be underestimated the role that Kris has played in Kylie’s achievements. It can’t be said that Kylie Jenner was not well socially connected, the networks were already in place.

Kylie’s reaction

Kylie has been on the defensive. She has argued that none of her financial success was inherited. In an interview recently she stated, “I had such a huge platform, I had so many followers and I had so many people watching me … But my parents told me I needed to make my own money at age 15 – and it was time to learn how to save and spend my own money.” Kylie Jenner does not openly defend the issue of the ‘self-made’ title, but rather highlights the work and success she has made from her existing platform that has rocketed her business to billionaire status. From Kylie’s standpoint, she wasn’t given any money, which might be true, but she worked with what she had, which is a lot more than most have.

Kylie Jenner’s name may not sit well along with the likes of self-made billionaires such as Mark Zuckerburg, Elon Musk or Bill Gates but no one can deny her success. Kylie Jenner carved out her own Kardashian niche and has built on it ever since. Reaching billionaire status at the age of 21 cannot be just snubbed at.

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