Kendall Jenner Has Already Boosted Estée Lauder's Numbers

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  • Estée Lauder
    American businesswoman
  • Kendall Jenner
    Kendall Jenner
    American model
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Kendall Jenner walks the runway for Dolce & Gabbana. Photo: Getty Images.

Kendall Jenner is having a good year. Make that very good. Having made her Fashion Week debut at February’s Marc Jacobs show, the 18-year-old just landed her first cosmetics contract—with Estée Lauder, no less. Getting that kind of high-profile (and lucrative) gig would be a career-defining moment for any model, much less one who’s just starting out.

Then again, as anyone who’s kept up with the Kardashians knows, Jenner isn’t your typical runway star. The 19-year-old has practically grown up with cameras documenting her family’s every move, and with that exposure has come legions of followers: 9 million on Twitter, and nearly 16 million on Instagram. Sure, Kim may be the most famous of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, but little sis isn’t doing too bad for herself.

But if you ask Jenner, fame has been a hindrance, not a help, in the fashion world. “It actually makes it harder for me to break in because I had to work a little bit harder for people to take me seriously and show them that I really want it,” she told DuJour. After the Lauder announcement, she told Nightline, “I’m not trying to use a family name or anything. In reality, I’ve worked pretty hard for this.”

Still, it’s hard to believe that Jenner’s social-media power has nothing to do with her rapid ascendance. When she walks a runway, be it for DKNY or Chanel, Twitter lights up. Backstage at fashion shows, editors try to sneak a ‘gram of Jenner in the makeup chair. And if she mentions a product on her platform, literally millions of people see it. In short, Jenner’s every move gets attention in our celebrity-obsessed culture—which may explain why her contract has earned so much buzz. 

 

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Jenner walking the runway for Sonia Rykiel, minutes after learning she’d landed the Estée Lauder contract. Photo: Getty Images.

As popular as Jenner is, not everyone is happy about her being the face of an iconic brand. After this weekend’s announcement, more than a few fans posted angry comments on Estée Lauder’s Facebook page, declaring that they were done with the brand. The most-liked, by Mary YuhJiin Tan, says, “If your goal is to aim at the younger generation, you could have picked someone else.”  

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But numbers don’t lie. Considering the fact that Estée Lauder’s Instagram followers have shot up nearly 50,000 since Jenner came on board, we’re guessing the brand isn’t too worried about a few hundred naysayers. After all, there’s always strength in numbers. Time will tell if those numbers add up to sales, too.