CLEA BIERMAN sits down with KIM and KHLOE KARDASHIAN to talk business, beauty and family – and how it feels to live life constantly under the microscope
THE KARDASHIANS HAVE been called American royalty. Whether or not that title sits well with everyone, the family certainly reigns supreme in the world of reality TV: its members have a US number-one show in Keeping Up with the Kardashians, now in its seventh season.
Before there was The Kardashians, family matriarch Kris Kardashian Jenner and her three elder daughters were already entrepreneurs, running their clothing boutiques Smooch and Dash. Sisters Kourtney, Kim and Khloe still run Dash; their opening of new branches of the store has been the subject of two spin-off reality series.
Aside from their clothing lines and boutiques, the Kardashians have dozens of products to their name, including jewellery, perfumes and cosmetics. Theirs is a multimillion-dollar business empire, and they say that if the whole fame game and TV show came crashing down tomorrow, they would happily continue focusing on their big career loves: fashion and make-up.
Kim, as is well known, is the biggest star among the sisters – her striking looks and voluptuous figure have made her a magazine-cover favourite since she shot to stardom half a decade ago. We first interviewed and photographed Kim two years ago, for Prestige Hong Kong’s fifth-anniversary issue. Back then, our story and shoot – the cover featuring a sensuous, nude male model on either side of Kim – created quite a buzz in the social-media sphere.
This time around – and as we celebrate our seventh anniversary – Prestige had the opportunity to sit down with not one, but two Kardashians, with Khloe joining big sister Kim on the couch. Seemingly always ready to talk candidly in interviews, Kim and Khloe share their passion for work, and what they’ve learned along the way about love, relationships – and looking good.
Both of you have been credited by Forbes magazine for your entrepreneurial skills. What project has made you most proud and why?
Khloe: For me personally, I think our Kardashian Kollection for Sears is something we’re really proud of. We always dreamed of having our own clothing line; we never knew to what magnitude it would grow, and to have it in a store like Sears that has over 600 doors nationwide is amazing. It’s such a feeling of accomplishment that we’ve done it together as sisters, and that we did something as a trio, which we’ve always wanted to do. So, that – and then I would also say our Dash stores, which are our baby. That’s where everything started. We had our stores way before our show, and after our show we’re still going to have our stores. Seeing that grow is amazing. We started in a little 800-square-foot store in Calabasas [in California’s San Fernando Valley], and now we have three stores. And the new one – now that we have it, we’re like, “We can’t believe we thought the old one was so cool, because this is like a real store.” The Calabasas one was the biggest accomplishment for us at the time, and it shows how we’ve evolved as businesswomen too, because we didn’t know any better.
Kim: I agree – Sears.
How has being in the public eye affected your relationships with your family members?
Kim: I think it actually helps them, because it kind of forces us to hang out more and be together more – because we do have so much going on in our own personal lives, so when we’re filming, that’s family time. And we love it.
Khloe: Typically when you’re getting older – Kourtney has two babies now, and I’m married, and Kim is off living her crazy life – typically brothers and sisters aren’t together this much. But when we film it forces us to be, which we appreciate. It allows us to see everyone grow up, like our little sisters [Kendall and Kylie Jenner]. It’s a really rewarding feeling for us and we like it…so far!
Even with your busy schedules, your family always makes time to sit down to a family dinner or to go on vacation together. Why is that important to you?
Kim: As a kid growing up, my dad made it a rule to have family dinner every single night. We’ve grown up that way, and that’s what we’re used to. Kourtney said to us, “I just made a rule in my house: we’re starting with two-nights-a-week family dinner.” And that’s amazing. That’s what I want. When anyone has kids, that’s what we will make as a tradition and a rule in our house – family dinner every single night. We carry that into our family life, all of us together. It used to be every Sunday we had a barbecue at my mom’s house, and as we got busy it became more whenever we could, but we make sure we make it a priority.
Khloe: We make an effort. It’s really easy to get lost in your own personal world and work world, so if you don’t make it a priority it’s easy to get sidetracked. We try to take a family vacation or have a dinner. We make an effort. All of us do.
What is your advice to women who are trying to balance a relationship and a career?
Khloe: To me, it’s about being understanding. I understand that [husband Lamar Odom’s] career is not as flexible as I would say mine is, since he’s signed to the NBA and they play all the time. I make a point to make his home games a priority. I just say, “Sorry – after 6pm on this day, I can’t take meetings or do photo shoots.” I work around his schedule, and then when he’s in his off season, he works around my schedule. It’s a give and take, but you do have to understand that sometimes the woman does give more. And you have to understand the realities and the roles. Lamar can’t take time off during the season even if he wanted to, so I can’t be selfish about that; I have to understand it. And you have to do the little things in your relationship. I like cooking for Lamar to make him feel – even though I am so busy and crazy and have a strong professional life – that I love him and care about him, and still make time for the little things that make a difference.
You design your own line for Sears, which ships internationally. Which designers do you look to for inspiration? Do these designers change through the seasons?
Kim: I think not only do we look at designers for inspiration, but we love to go to home stores because we love to see texture, so we love to see wallpaper and we love to see even carpets and pillows. We like to see colour and texture, so it’s not so much that we look at designers. We love designers. My favourite designer is Tom Ford. But Kourtney, Khloe and I all have designers who are our favourites, so we all draw on such different inspiration.
Khloe: That’s the crazy thing about our line: you get one brand, but it’s three different women who are designing. We have a similar taste but we all are very different too. But Kim’s right – even if we just see a print that we love, we use it for inspiration. All of our prints are ours, authentic; we trademark them. If we see a print that we love, we will recreate it so it’s ours, so no one else will have it.
Kim: Yes. We do all original prints and patterns, so we might say, “I love this floral pattern from Stella McCartney, but let’s maybe take the colour and the vibe and make our own original pattern.”
You’re launching your own make-up line. What are some of the staple pieces in the line?
Kim: Definitely lashes and mascara. We have mastered mascara. We’re really passionate about it. We’re going to have lots of shimmers, which will be really fun – whether it’s highlighters or bronzers. And we’ll also teach you how to do it, from the shimmers we put on, to how to line your inner eye, or your upper lip to make your lip look bigger. We’re giving away all of our tricks and all of our make-up artist’s tricks that we’ve used through the years. But I will say that lashes and mascara will be key.
Khloe: We have a lot of kits. Like, we sell an eyeshadow palette that has the full range – whether it be the shimmer, highlighter, a matte finish; or how you make a smoky eye or a cat eye – we have them in little kits with all the colours you need, which is really convenient.
Which item will you wear the most and why?
Khloe: I love mascara; I’m not really a big eyelash girl – my eyes get really irritated. We had to try on so many mascaras and test all the different formulas. You don’t even realise it – like, “Are you kidding me – there’s this many variations of stuff?” So my favourite is the mascara and my favourite mascara is Stroke of Midnight, because you get the most bang for your buck.
Kim: I like lashes; I’m a lash girl. We have some really cool ones.
How involved are you with the production of the make-up line?
Kim: We all have different roles. Khloe loves looking at the formulas, and she will try things on, and she likes to try the wearability and test the long-lasting products to see the quality. Kourtney loves the colours. I love looking at the packaging and the fonts and the outside aesthetics. And they still look at the packaging; I look at the colours and still try the products for long wear, but we all like one aspect a little bit better than the others.
Khloe: With any of our brands, we’re so passionate about them that we won’t put our name on anything that we don’t love. Beauty and fashion are our life, and after everything we still want these lines to be something that we work on, so nothing gets out without having the approval of all three of us.
In your last Prestige interview, you hadn’t been to Armenia yet. Have you managed to go?
Kim: We still haven’t. We want to take a family trip, but Kourtney got pregnant. And so every time we have a trip in the works, something comes up so that one of us is unavailable.
Khloe: We want to go together, but something always comes up. But it would mean a lot for us to all go together.
Kim, a lot of women look to you for fashion guidance. What are your tips for looking good and dressing for your body type?
Kim: I think you have to really know your body. Everyone has a body part that they don’t like and want to conceal, and something that they like and want to show off. So it’s all about knowing what you want to show. So if you have long legs, you might want to wear short skirts and show your legs off; or if you have a small waist, you can always wear belts and do what you can to accentuate your waist; or if you want, you can cover up your arms. For me, when I feel good in something, I feel confident.
What fashion trends can we expect to see you wearing this fall?
Kim: I love capes, I love capes! So I think you’ll see me in capes a lot this fall.
You’ve mentioned in interviews that romantic love, or someone being “the one”, has had different meanings to you during different times in your life. What’s your view on love? How does timing affect relationships, in your opinion?
Kim: I think everyone in my past has made me better for the one that I’m with. Hopefully I’ve learned along the way. That’s just how I have to look at it. Everyone in your past has definitely taught you things, whether they’ve taught you what you don’t want or just taught you lessons on how to be the ideal person. I think I’m always a hopeless romantic.
In your years in the public eye, what has caused you fear?
Kim: I think I’m at a place in my life where I don’t care as much about what people say, but when people are really judgemental it just makes me sad. It’s made me see things differently, knowing that there are so many people who are judgemental and think in a certain way. Because you can be vulnerable, which is scary.
How do you balance being a role model, and disregarding critiques?
Kim: Anything like that takes time. I used to listen to critiques, and it used to bother me a lot more than it does now. And when something genuinely bothers you, I don’t think you can be your authentic self. In other words, you can’t really be yourself if you’re always wondering what other people are thinking about you. It stands in the way of you just being who you really are. I’m obviously conscious of what I tweet and what I say, because younger kids are going to be looking at that. You just have to try and be your best “you”, and if that’s a role model for some people then that’s exciting, and I want to do what I can to be the best role model. Not everything in my life has been perfect, but as long as I learn and grow from it, I think it makes me a realistic role model.
Khloe, you’ve moved back and forth to Dallas this year. What was that like for you? Do you have a new perspective on life and work given that experience?
Khloe: Well, when [Lamar] got traded to Dallas it was, like, a week before Christmas, and I think we were both really surprised. I always knew about the potential for being traded, but I didn’t know how fast everything would happen. Within 24 hours he was in Dallas, and I had to stay behind and pack. I didn’t realize how fast the NBA did everything. I think it just made me more aware – that while LA could still be my home base, never get too comfortable because you just never know. I think it definitely made Lamar and I stronger. It was hard because I had to fly back and forth to LA to work with my sisters all the time, but you’d do anything for your family. It’s worth it. I loved Dallas; I thought the people were so nice. I’d never been there before, so it was a great experience.
You and Lamar have had some struggles but also a lot of success collaborating on business ventures together. Will you continue to work together? What would be a dream product for you to co-develop?
Khloe: Lamar and I have our unisex fragrance together, and we’re working on a second one. Definitely the first time around – just because creating a unisex fragrance is so difficult since what I might like, a man might not like, and vice versa – it was hard, and we had to get into the groove of working together. And I’m so used to working with my sisters that if we fight on a work project, we know how to separate that from our personal relationships; whereas if Lamar and I would fight about a scent, it would carry on. But now I think we’ve definitely gotten into our niche of “this
is a work thing and this isn’t”. I don’t really know what product we would work on. The thing that we’re both passionate about is charities and working with children, so I think we would do something of that sort together. But I’m not really sure what product we would make. For us, things have to be organic. It’s very easy to say, “Oh, here – put your name on this,” but I really have to believe in something in order to back it. So I think we will do a charity thing.
You’ve been praised for being so supportive and giving in your relationship, even putting his career needs in front of your show together. What makes it all worth it?
Khloe: Just having the relationship. When you find someone that is worth putting effort into, and all that love and energy, and it’s both ways – he does it for me. The most rewarding thing is – for example, last night – doing nothing. Just laying in bed and having someone that you have that trust and security with. Lamar and I are genuinely friends too. He’s still one of my friends, and I just want to be that support system. It’s a great feeling because it’s a mutual feeling.
Lamar now plays for the Los Angeles Clippers. Are you excited for him to be back playing in LA?
Khloe: I am so excited. I was born and raised in LA, so just to be home is exciting. To be driving distance from my siblings is amazing. To not have to worry about where I’m going to move to next year, and not having to figure that out in a foreign city is a relief. But this is the team Lamar started his career with, so it’s really exciting that he’s coming full circle. He’s so excited, and so that makes me more excited.
Many of your family members have said that having a camera around has made you closer. How does the camera affect your relationship with Lamar?
Khloe: I think with Lamar, because he isn’t as used to filming as we are, he just needs to have space sometimes. And you can’t really ask for space if we’re filming – that’s the point: they want you any time, all the time. So with Lamar and I, it doesn’t affect us, but I can read him. I’ll be like, “Can you just give him a minute?” because I can just read his vibe if it’s, like, after practice and he needs to kind of unwind and have alone time. So it doesn’t affect him and I, but I just feel guilty. I know he wants to film, but I don’t want him to feel overwhelmed. So it’s more me being overprotective and crazy.
You’ve been public about your desire to have kids. What do you look forward to most about being a mother?
Khloe: I know this is in the future, but even just taking the kids to Lamar’s games and being like, “Let’s go see Daddy play.” I think it would be so fun to dress them in Lamar’s jersey, and to go to his games. I know that’s later. Just raising kids, and having my kids be close with Kourtney’s kids and my little sisters. Since my siblings are so close, I think we would raise our kids close – almost like siblings in a way. I’m excited for all of that.
Five Quick Questions
What are three things that can be found in your handbag at all times?
Kim: My BlackBerry, lip conditioner and gum.
Khloe: Hairspray, powder (because I’m very oily) and my BlackBerry.
What’s your favourite item in your closet right now?
Kim: I would say my croc Birkin.
Khloe: My Isabel Marant sneakers.
What has been your favourite red-carpet look to date?
Kim: I really loved the cream Tom Ford dress with the zip-open back that I wore to the BET awards with my slicked-back hair – and it was so last minute.
Khloe: The leopard Cavalli dress I wore to the Teen Choice awards last year.
What is your favourite splurge food?
Kim: Cookies-and-cream ice cream.
Khloe: Macaroni and cheese.
Where is your favourite place to shop?
Khloe: I love online shopping. I can be up at two in the morning and just online shop. Actually maybe it’s an awful thing too because I get in trouble. With modern technology, it’s just so accessible.
PHOTOGRAPHER / GILLES BENSIMON
STYLING / JAK
CREATIVE DIRECTION / DANA POBLETE FOR COOL HUNT INC.
ASSISTANTS / ASHLEY HEATON AND CHRISTINA YING
PRODUCTION / COOL HUNT INC. (WWW.COOLHUNT.NET)
HAIR / ROB SCHEPPY
MAKE-UP / ROB SCHEPPY
HAIR / ROB TALTY
MAKE-UP / MARIO DEDIVANOVIC