In the nine years since her sex tape leaked to the world wide web, Kim Kardashian has slowly but surely branded herself as a celebrity businesswoman that the American public — nay, the world — should take seriously. A couple of failed marriages and many awkward product endorsements later, she emerged from the confines of reality television in 2013 as a Givenchy-clad, perfect-skinned multi-millionaire with the kind of influence not even Anna Wintour could ignore.
Since her Vogue cover debut with then-fiancé Kanye West in March 2014, Kardashian has opted for cover placements only on high fashion magazines. Even the Internet-breaking Paper cover had artsy cred to back it up. Then there was Vogue Australia, Elle UK, Elle France — always wearing designer fashion in a sexy yet tasteful Kanye and Anna-approved way. The transformation was complete. Valentino hosted a brunch before her wedding, for Pete's sake.
Which is why Kardashian's latest cover appearance, on the cover of Rolling Stone, is so surprising. Shot by Terry Richardson, it looks more or less like an ad for a gentleman's club: Breasts pushing up out of a red bra, a striped Guess tank pulled off the shoulders, a sailor's hat slightly askew, oversized hoop earrings, a half-smile. Oh Kim...what will Anna think? Was Kanye out of town for this?
The issue hits newsstands July 3.