One year after Forbes officially ranked the Kylie Cosmetics mogul as the world’s youngest billionaire in its annual Billionaires ranking, the magazine placed the star at the top of its list for the second year. While there have been some online critics who question whether the term “self-made” could apply to a member of the Kardashian-Jenner family, Forbes explained that, “despite a lot of help from her famous family, she didn’t inherit her business — she built it.”
According to the outlet, Jenner is only one of ten billionaires in the world under the age of 30. While seven of them are heirs, only three are considered self-made because they created their own fortunes — Stripe co-founder John Collison, 29, Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel, 29, and Jenner, 22.
When Jenner first made Forbes’ Billionaires ranking she said, “I didn’t expect anything. I did not foresee the future. But [the recognition] feels really good. That’s a nice pat on the back.”
At the time, the outlet reported that Kylie Cosmetics’ revenue climbed 9% in to an estimated $360 million, with the overall valuation of the brand estimated at $900 million, which Forbes called a “conservative” report.
The success of her growing beauty business led Jenner to sell a 51 percent stake in her Kylie Cosmetics in November 2019 to beauty conglomerate Coty, which owns other beauty brands including Covergirl, OPI, Rimmel, GHD and Clairol. The sale valued the company at almost $1.2 billion. While Jenner did sell a majority stake in Kylie Cosmetics, according to an official release, she and her team will continue to lead all creative efforts of product development and communication initiatives.
“I’m excited to partner with Coty to continue to reach even more fans of Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin around the world,” Jenner said in a release. “I look forward to continuing the creativity and ingenuity for each collection that consumers have come to expect and engaging with my fans across social media.”
“This is her baby and this is her dream, to build this beauty empire and just go into many categories that she hasn’t even scratched the surface,” said Jenner’s mom and manager Kris Jenner in an interview after the sale. “She looks forward to working with Coty to develop more categories and going into other areas of the beauty business.”
Through the partnership with Jenner, Coty sees much potential in expanding distribution of Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin into more retailers, both in the U.S. and internationally. Coty will leverage its global knowledge in R&D, manufacturing, distribution, commercial and go-to-market expertise.
“We don’t see any weaknesses. We see strength everywhere. We see strength in cosmetics. We see strength in skincare both digitally and in the launch in Ulta,” says Coty’s Chief Financial Officer Pierre-André Terisse in a conference call with investors.
After launching her namesake makeup company, Jenner used her loyal fanbase and powerful social media platform to catapult the brand into one of the fastest growing companies in the beauty business. According to Coty’s investor call, Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin now have the highest engagement among all beauty brands on social media.
The mogul credited her millions of social media followers (she now has upwards of 270 million) as the key to her success. “Social media is an amazing platform,” she said in the Forbes cover story. “I have such easy access to my fans and my customers.”