Kylie Jenner, 20, on cusp of billionaire status: Forbes

Jenner is the youngest daughter of Kris and Caitlyn, formerly Olympic gold medalist Bruce. (Shutterstock)
Updated 12 July 2018
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Kylie Jenner, 20, on cusp of billionaire status: Forbes

  • Jenner owns 100 percent of the company, which started out with a $29 “lip kit”
  • Jenner's success has been attributed to her fame and ability to leverage social media

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 percent 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-percent management cut.
“As ultralight startups 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.


As Saudi Arabia gears up for K-pop’s Super Junior we ask ‘what’s the draw?’

Updated 26 June 2019
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As Saudi Arabia gears up for K-pop’s Super Junior we ask ‘what’s the draw?’

  • K-pop favorites Super Junior will hit the stage in Jeddah in July
  • This catchy pop genre has seen several false starts

JEDDAH: It is just weeks to go before one of K-pop’s best-known groups, “Super Junior”, take to the stage in Jeddah, adding them to an ever-increasing hall of fame as the Kingdom continues on its wave of modernization.

It wasn’t that long ago that fans of K-pop were seen as the odd ones out, but now they represent an increasingly large group of devotees across the globe.

K-pop music, a versatile genre of music, accompanied by an explosion of bright colors, flashy choreographed dancing and catchy beats, has fans as young as 10 captivated.

But what has made this once widely mocked genre turn from a freak show into one of the world’s most successful styles of pop music and why is it so popular in the Kingdom? Arab News spoke to fans to find out.

Local online shops and social media accounts in Saudi Arabia are slowly increasing merchandise of Korean goods including clothing, fan art, band merchandise and much more. 

Even Saudis living abroad in Korea have got involved and are pushing the K-pop message through their social media accounts, drawing in younger recruits to this increasingly popular phenomenon.

College student Yasmin Noor, 19, who has been a fan for four years said: “I got into K-pop when I was 15. When I stumbled across Choi Siwon from “Super Junior” on the internet, I wanted to know more about him. After that I wanted to know about Korea and their culture.”

How K-pop's global interest grew

Boy – and girl - bands are not a new phenomenon, K-pop is riding the crest of a rather big tried and tested wave.

But while most of the groups that preceded this genre are from western countries and sing in English, K-pop bands have largely stayed loyal to their roots, singing in their native tongue – although not always.

Even the United State’s Rolling Stone magazine joined the debate surrounding the genre’s growing popularity around the world, suggesting that interest in Korean pop music first began in 2012 with Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” but he was seen as an amusing gimmick.

Then there was a series of highly polished girl groups that hit the stage, including “Wonder Girls” and “Girls Generation,” who came backed with vast productions and massive budgets which promptly flopped, failing to capture the imagination of the essential US audience.

But why did they fail? Rolling Stone suggested it might be these groups simply “tried too hard.”

Super Junior backstage at their concert 'Super Show' (Photo Courtesy: Social media)

Now K-pop has dared to cross the boundaries and, with groups like BTS, started to encompass Western styles, while maintaining its Korean origins, delivering a more upbeat, feel good positive style that is starting to capture the attention of the US.

It didn’t matter that groups were singing in Korean, when the sound had something that sounded reassuringly similar but was uncharacteristically uplifting.

And it’s not just the US where K-pop is proving a vast success, it seems the Gulf region loves it too.

Social media was always going to help

Saudi-based life coach and HR officer, Nora Alrifai, 27, said: “The appeal for me was how some songs moved my heartstrings even though I didn’t understand anything they were saying.”

And her fascination with Korea didn’t stop there, she said the country’s local TV dramas have also been a serious draw as her love of Korean media continues to grow.

K-pop’s recent success around the world has caught many by surprise, but the brand’s normalization into such a competitive market could be, in part, due to collaborations with western acts.

But Alrifai believes social media has played a big part.

“Due to the globalization and the excessive use of social media, the world is becoming a global village and everyone has access now to other cultures and their art,” she said.

Rowaida Fuad, the chef behind Sakura Topia, a restaurant that serves authentic Korean and Japanese food said she was initially a K-Pop fan: “I got into K-Pop when I was in university in 2005. At that time it was becoming famous among students who had internet access.”

One of the biggest online K-pop communities “Soompi,” which started in 1998, boasts a user base of 22 million and still growing, with the vast majority being from around the globe and not Korean.

And there’s evidence, Rolling Stone suggested, that its millions of users are spending hours translating lyrics and analyzing the videos which accompany to catchy tracks.

Yasmin Noor recalled how she first discovered the colorful world of K-pop, she said; “What made me like them was definitely their dancing skills and the most impressive of all was the production value that goes into their music videos.”

“Super Junior” will perform in Saudi Arabia at the Jeddah Season on July 12, and fans are eagerly awaiting the announcement of the tickets, a first of its kind in the Kingdom that will surely not be the last.