This article is published in number 9 of Vanity Fair on newsstands until February 28, 2023
The American dream no longer has a name, but a surname: Kardashians. Or better: Kardashian-Jenner. The most famous extended family in the world is a reality that surpasses all imagination, a clan made up only of women: the mother and matriarch Kris Jenner with daughters Kourtney, Kim And Khloe (had by her first husband Robert Kardashian) more Kendall And Kylie (had by the second Caitlyn Marie Jenner).
Six women, six “K” letters who knocked out everything we thought we knew about celebrities: first with a reality show (Keeping up with the Kardashians260 episodes for a total of 20 seasons) and then with a following of zeros that has no equal in the world (only on Instagram, the six K’s are followed by more than a billion and a half people, to be precise, as I write they are 1,559. 500,000 in all), le Kardashian-Jenner they have not only entertained the world, they have shaped its uses and customs, defining an aesthetic canon, the Kardashian canon precisely, which has been imprinted in dreams and nightmares, for better or for worse, of contemporary culture.
In Paris, we meet the youngest of them, the spearhead: Kylie Jenner. 25 years old, two children, according to the chronicles of her just separated from her husband Travis Scott, owns a multi-million dollar beauty brand. She is first among all for the number of followers on Instagram (380 million) and is the first woman in the world most followed on social media after two men (in the order Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi).
I can only start here: how does it feel to be followed by 380 million people who spy on, comment on, criticize your every move?
“The truth? I’ve grown up in the TV spotlight since I was 9 years old. It has always been natural to me. Notoriety, exposure have never hindered my personality. Fame came early in my life, in a way I can say it came naturally because I can’t establish a real before or after: it’s always been like this. And I can’t even compare with my family, because my family was not only there, with me: my family is also what keeps me down to earth, strongly anchored in the reality of things. Of all things.”
Ritual question: how do you survive criticism, hatred, poisonous comments?
“Look, you can’t even imagine what I’ve managed to read about myself over the years. But do you know what’s new? I don’t read the comments anymore. I grew strong and realized that I must not let him into my life. Sure, you do happen to react and sometimes it’s impossible not to get involved in something that is patently false. Even in these cases, my mirror is my family, friends, people who love me: it’s only they who give me back the true image of me, who really know who I am».
How do you feel about having all this influence on contemporary culture, especially on the idea of beauty and on women?
“I try not to think about all this responsibility. Since I was a child I understood that I exerted a great influence: I dyed my hair in a certain way and then when I met the public, with my sisters, I saw many women with hairstyles identical to mine. What I do, therefore, is simple: I strive to become a positive inspiration, I try to remain authentic, never to betray myself».
His mother Kris is a key figure in your success story. What relationship does he have with her?
“My mother is the strongest woman I know. From an early age she instilled in us the idea that we could do something great. I don’t know how she does it, but she always manages to be perfect, perfect in every moment. As long as I was at home with her, she was my mom. When I left home, she became my best friend. And as far as business is concerned, my mother is my bulldog and my protector: I respect her very much».
And his father?
“My father has always been there. At school, at all plays, at sporting events. He was always there. He taught me one of the most important lessons: learn to respect yourself, not be afraid of who you are. It’s a fundamental lesson.”
Five sisters. What is her favourite?
“It changes over time. It’s Kim at the moment.”
“Kim has changed so much recently. We are very connected, she is always the first sister I call when I need something. We’ve had so many similar experiences lately.”
Which sister is more different from her?
“Kendall. Without a doubt Kendall. But, do you know what they say? Opposites attract. And so it happens to us both ».
“I grew up under the television spotlight since I was nine years. It has always been natural to me. Notoriety, exposure have never hindered mine personality»
Tell me one thing you’ve learned from every sister?
“So, let’s see. Khloé taught me tenderness and the ability to forgive, Kendall the importance of friendship and unconditional love, Kourtney the value of health and the need not to be superficial, Kim the strength, the ability to always tell it can be done, come what may. Kim is really strong, really resilient.”
She is mother of two children. She has made no secret of the difficulty of pregnancy, of the more problematic sides of motherhood. What advice would you give to those facing episodes of depression after giving birth?
“I lived through those episodes. Twice. The first was very difficult, the second more manageable. I would tell everyone not to think too much and to fully experience all the emotions of that moment. Stay in that moment, even if it’s painful. I know, in those moments you think it will never go away, that your body will never go back to what it was before, that you will never be the same. That’s not true: hormones, emotions at that stage are much, much more powerful and bigger than you. My advice is to live that passage, without fear of the aftermath. Then there is the risk of missing out on all the most beautiful things about motherhood».
What are the things that excited you the most about your motherhood?
“Finding myself in the hospital alone with a new and unknown creature in my arms. It’s such a unique and special situation and it’s all to be built with these little differences that you’re learning about. But there is another magical moment: when you bring your children home. It is perhaps the most beautiful moment ».
Let’s talk about her career as an entrepreneur in the world of beauty products with the Kylie Cosmetics line. Where did it all start?
“I was 15 and obsessed with lipstick. I never went out without it. I went to my mother and told her: I would like to create a line of beauty products. She didn’t take me seriously right away, but then she started to believe it and help me. We’ve made many mistakes, but mistakes are part of the projects, they are necessary steps and maybe it’s wrong to call them mistakes. Many of our companies are in Italy: I loved coming to your country, meeting people, studying projects together».
What product came out best for you?
“Oh, difficult. I can tell her that yesterday I was obsessed with lipstick, today since Glow Balma highlighter that I always put on my cheekbones».
Who inspires you today?
“My children. And my family”.
How are his two children?
“The youngest is two years old. The greatest five. Their personality surprises me: they already know what they want, they are so determined. If I think of them, I’m moved, excuse me. They are so tender and yet so strong.”
How are children educated?
“I try to offer them different choices. I’m interested in the idea of teaching them control and responsibility in their life choices. I think it’s very important.”
What makes her happy?
“The creativity. Do creative work. I have to say that at this point, material things no longer make me really happy. I have experienced them. I know what they are and what they are worth. But happiness comes from family, from friends, from the connections I can make with people.”
Where does the billion dollar girl, the most followed woman in the world, want to go in ten years?
“Oh God, ten years. My daughter will be 15, my son 12. And I will be older. I’m expanding my horizons and for sure my projects don’t end here, on the contrary they will go further and you will soon see it. Maybe I will want to have more children. I would certainly like to grow as a person and devote myself more to charitable initiatives: it is important to give back some of the good fortune you receive».
Photo by @luigiandiango
Fashion Stylist @annadellorusso
Hair @jesushair @thewallgroup
Make Up @makeupbyariel @Cn7xAgkyY5_
Kylie wears her own Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin products
Production @ marinamoretti64
Blazer, shirt, tie and ribbon, Valentino Le Club Couture SS 2023 by Pierpaolo Piccioli. Pantyhose, Wolford.
Suit, shirt and bow tie, Schiaparelli Haute Couture by Daniel Roseberry.
Thanks to @2bmanagemen
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