Beauty industry execs, are you listening? Kylie Jenner isn't anywhere near done disrupting the cosmetics industry. The 19-year-old gave what is easily her most candid and in-depth interview so far to WWD about her rapidly exploding cosmetics empire, along with mother Kris Jenner (who is the chief financial officer of Kylie Cosmetics).
The interview marked the first time that the specific monetary scale of the business has been disclosed publicly, with the Jenners reported a whopping $420 million in retail sales in just 18 months for the company, even providing supporting documentation to the publication. For scale, WWD compares that number to Tom Ford Beauty, which reportedly reached $500 million in revenue after a decade, making it one of Estée Lauder's two fastest-growing brands. Meanwhile, Lauder's Bobbi Brown brand reportedly reached $1 billion in revenue in 2016, when it had been around for 25 years, while L'Oréal-owned Lancôme hit that same number in 2015 after 80 years of existence. There's no disputing the rapid-fire growth of Kylie Cosmetics.
There's also no overstating the impact Kylie herself, serving as the face of her own brand, has had on the current state of beauty marketing. Kris especially is well-aware of this fact. "When you talk about advertising and the way businesses and brands are doing their PR and their print ads and the stuff they do — it's so interesting that the telephone, something that we used just solely for communication, is now responsible for 80 percent of almost everything everyone does," said Kris. "Especially in this millennial generation of kids who look up to my girls and follow every move that they make on their phone… That translates into some of the sales that we have; we can really track where they are coming from."
While Kylie is focused on the creative side of the business — conceiving of the collections, campaigns, marketing and overall aesthetic — Kris is much more aware of the further untapped business potential at stake. Kylie discusses rolling out a range of concealers and foundations by the end of the year, as well as her desire to launch brick-and-mortar stores, but when asked if she has thought about selling the company, she seems to shrug it off, saying she "wants to keep building it and just show people what I can do on my own." According to the WWD piece:
Kylie is candid, saying she hasn't thought that far ahead. Instead, she's busy gearing up for the next day's shoot, working on the holiday collection and making sure her complexion range has a smooth rollout. She is having the time of her life bringing the thing she's most passionate about to life — her enthusiasm comes through whenever she's talking about anything product-related — and she is "definitely not done yet."
But Kris, in true Kris fashion, is more focused on the business potential. She, according to WWD, is "already entertaining the idea of a sale." She's aware of the importance of a global beauty corporation when it comes to scaling a cosmetics company. "For her, watching Kylie build, grow and eventually sell her business would be 'such a life accomplishment for her [Kylie],'" reported WWD. She stresses, however, that Kylie would undoubtedly want to remain closely involved and retain creative control if some type of sale were to occur. Said Kris:
"If one of the big ones came along and was to buy Kylie, I think it would be a very exciting time, but also a time for great growth and it would give Kylie a whole new world to create in. The beauty of what the company that does eventually buy Kylie Cosmetics — the benefit they will reap will be the expansion and doing worldwide retail along with the e-commerce… It certainly would be a very proud moment for me because we’ve worked so hard on it. It's definitely something we eat, breathe and sleep. We're living makeup."
Head to WWD to read the full interview.