Yet Another New Celebrity Brand?

Black faux-leather trenchcoat for fall? Groundbreaking.

With Kylie Jenner's new brand Khy, the Kardashian clan's commercial revenue is increasing once again. With the debut of Khy, her new clothing business, a billionaire is joining her entrepreneur sisters. Jenner introduced her new fashion line on October 24 with a simple Instagram photo showing her wearing a black leather trench coat and red shoes, sitting on a carpeted floor, captioning ''Meet Khy''.

The debut collection features 13 items, exclusively designed with the Berlin-based brand Namilia. "The whole line is really inspired by my personal wardrobe, and the different moods that I'm in," Kylie explained to WSJ Magazine. Yeah, yeah, whatever. What she truly means is that ''you labeled me the family fashion icon, so I may as well capitalize on this as well, adding millions to my billions.'' I mean, she has recently been the Kardashian clan's IT fashion girl, but do we really need more celebrity fashion brands? Do we really need more Balenciaga-dupe leather trenchcoats? It's been all done before. However, nothing will stop the Kardashians from making themselves richer and richer. The entire Kardashian-Jenner family, including Kim, Khloé, Kendall, Kris, and Kylie, attended, head to toe Dolce & Gabbana at Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker's wedding; the very same brand whose co-founder Stefano Gabbana once called the family "the cheapest people in the world." Anything for controversy I guess. Speaking of which, of course, the debut of Khy was not without controversy. Following the announcement of Jenner's fashion collection, fashion designer Betsy Johnson attacked the billionaire for stealing her designs, posting "We emailed Kylie and all her team concept and language and a line sheet 6 months ago," "INTERESTING CONCEPT KYLIE... INTERESTING." Thank you for your support... F**k your support," on her Instagram stories. That is not at all surprising given the Kar-Jenner family's stealing history.  

But I'm not here to zero in on my criticism of the Kardashians alone today. My issue is with celebrity brands—not all of them, mind you. There have been some exceptionally successful businesses in the fashion and cosmetics industries lately. For instance, Jenner's older sister Kim Kardashian's shapewear and loungewear brand Skims is now worth $4 billion, according to The New York Times, ranking the business mogul third on Forbes’ list of the Richest Women Celebrities in America. 

So why is the reason that certain brands are succeeding while others are flopping? AUTHENCITY. To expand further, let's talk about the most recent and successful brand Rhode Beauty. The company's execution and vision align with the face that represents it. Given that Hailey Bieber is well-known for her "glazed-donut" skin, Rhode Beauty appears to be genuine. Right away, Rhode Beauty is on brand for her as she is the one who made the clean-girl aesthetic popular. This is what I mean by saying 'authentic'.

Interestingly, the celebrity's popularity or number of Instagram followers has no bearing on the brand's level of success. When LVMH stated in 2019 that they are collaborating with Rihanna to launch a high fashion brand named FENTY, it was huge news as it was the first time the luxury giant had teamed up with a celebrity or a woman of color to establish a business from the ground up. Nevertheless, despite the popularity of Rihanna's prior ventures into cosmetics and lingerie, the fashion business eventually failed after almost two years. So what was the reason the clothing line never quite found its place in the market or created the same buzz as SavagexFenty or Fenty Beauty? As opposed to SavagexFenty, which completely overthrew Victoria's Secret with its body-positive attitude and significantly superior shows, and Fenty Beauty, which revolutionized the cosmetics market by offering an extensive range of skin tones for the first time, the high-fashion brand brought nothing new to the table. 

Much like Rihanna's Fenty apparel brand, Beyoncé's Ivy Park clothing line with Adidas is reportedly coming to an end. According to the Wall Street Journal, Beyoncé's Ivy Park brand's income dropped by more than 50% in the previous year, falling more than $200 million short of internal sales estimates. Adidas had envisioned that Beyoncé's Ivy Park would be as successful as Kanye West's Yeezy brand, which was discontinued last year. However, Beyoncé didn't appear in as many paparazzi shots sporting her own line as West did, despite the fact that she did appear in ads. Furthermore, Ivy Park never seemed like it fit her public demeanor. When it comes to Beyoncé, THE superstar of the decade, tracksuits and hoodies don't exactly scream 'diva'. For example, Rihanna became renowned for the sex appeal of her songs, which is why SavagexFenty made perfect sense. However, Ivy Park and Beyonce simply do not.

It truly makes me question where fashion is heading these days. It doesn't appear that celebrity branding will disappear anytime soon. The situation became so absurd that Gwyneth Paltrow created the "This Smells Like My Vagina" candle. It is ridiculous considering those celebrities earn millions of dollars for almost nothing and still attempt to run side businesses. Why isn't it any different, in my opinion? We've seen everything from Kylie, from Kylie Swimwear to Kylie Baby. So, given the scandal of stealing from a small designer, would eventually Khy fail or become a truly successful enterprise in the young business mogul's career? How will Jenner handle the situation, and will she ever take these criticisms as helpful feedback? Is this all just a continuation of the relentless Kardashian marketing and advertising tool? Time is all that can tell.