NEW YORK — Aged just 20 and the youngest member of the extended reality-TV Kardashian clan, Kylie Jenner is on track to become America’s youngest “self-made” billionaire, Forbes revealed Wednesday.
The young mother, who gave birth to daughter Stormi in February, set up Kylie Cosmetics two years ago and the company has already sold more than $630 million worth of makeup, the magazine said.
Forbes conservatively valued her company at $800 million and raised her overall worth to $900 million by throwing in earnings from television programs, endorsements and after-tax dividends.
Jenner owns 100% of the company, which started out with a $29 “lip kit” — matching set of lipstick and lip liner that traded on her trademark pout.
She’s already the youngest person on Forbes’ list of richest self-made US women and another year of growth would make her the youngest self-made billionaire ever, beating Mark Zuckerberg, who crossed the threshold at the age of 23.
“Thank you @Forbes for this article and the recognition. I’m so blessed to do what I love everyday,” she tweeted next to a photograph of the cover story.
Her success has been attributed to her fame and ability to leverage social media. She has more than 110 million followers on Instagram, 25.6 million on Twitter, and 16.4 million follow her company directly.
Forbes said the firm has only seven full-time and five part-time employees, with manufacturing, packaging, and sales outsourced, and “momager” Kris handling the business side in exchange for a 10% management cut.
“As ultralight start-ups go, Jenner’s operation is essentially air. And because of those minuscule overhead and marketing costs, the profits are outsize and go right into Jenner’s pocket,” Forbes wrote.
Jenner is the youngest daughter of Kris and Caitlyn, formerly Olympic gold medalist Bruce. Her sister is supermodel Kendall. Her half-sisters are Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe Kardashian.
Reality TV show Keeping Up With the Kardashians launched when Kylie was 10 years old. Aged 17, she trademarked the phrase “Kylie Lip Kits… for the perfect pout.”
Forbes said she used $250,000 earned from modeling to pay a company to produce the first 15,000 lip kits, which she spent months teasing on Instagram. They sold out in less than a minute at the November 2015 launch.
That May, Jenner had admitted to having temporary lip fillers. On Sunday, she revealed on Instagram that she had ditched them. — AFP