Burning Question: Kim Kardashian has built a whole business on exploiting her personal life. How much more could she make from her baby?
— E. Carson
Put it this way: Even if that baby remains off-camera — for what it's worth, Kim has said that's her plan and sources have told omg! that Kanye would prefer to keep his little girl out of the spotlight — we're looking at one lucrative kid.
Born on Saturday, Ryan Seacrest revealed Kardashian's first comments on Tuesday regarding her baby, which she emailed to him after he sent his congratulations. "Can't believe it. So crazy!" she wrote. Crazy indeed.
Jessica Simpson, as you may know, also birthed a baby girl. That girl has the unfortunate name of Maxwell, but the kid is luckier when it comes to making her mommy money, having inspired a Jessica Simpson maternity-wear collection that has expanded from 350 points of distribution last fall to about 800 today.
"That may be a small percentage of her $1 billion empire," says Marcy Medina, West Coast bureau chief of Women's Wear Daily. "But it's still not too shabby."
And you can expect that Kardashian, whose family retail empire is worth an estimated $65 million, to step into that same arena. After all, there is more money to be made.
"From April 2012 to March 2013, the U.S. women's apparel market was worth $113 billion, and the maternity market was worth $664 million," Medina notes. "So the maternity category is a relatively small niche in the industry … If anything, going into the kids-wear business could be a greater opportunity; Global Industry Analysts, Inc. estimates the global children's wear market will reach $156.8 billion by 2015."
Somehow, I suspect Kardashian already knows this.
The reality star will also have opportunities to cash out in smaller ways — say, charging for interviews in which her baby appears or endorsing baby products from other companies. Those could fetch anywhere from a few thousand dollars up to six figures for someone of Kardashian's stature, assuming West signs off.
Then, of course, she could sell photos.
Five years ago, Kardashian may have been able to hawk the first photo of her daughter for a cool $1 million. Now, former OK! magazine managing editor Mark Pasetsky tells us the market has softened.
But she could still make a modest sum … that is, modest for someone like her.
"I would say, conservatively, we're looking at $100,000, on the low end," says Pasetsky, now a communications consultant at Mark Allen & Co.
For the record, that's about two years's worth of costs at a fancy private college. Not a bad first step for a person who hasn't even been born yet.
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