Kylie Jenner has become the youngest billionaire in the world.
Forbes magazine declared as much in its annual billionaires list, published Tuesday. Having accumulated an estimated $1 billion by age 21, her entry states, Jenner is “the youngest self-made billionaire, reaching a 10-figure fortune at a younger age than even Mark Zuckerberg (who was 23 when he hit that mark).”
The Kylie Cosmetics founder ranks No. 2,057 on a list of 2,153. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who independently owns The Washington Post, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates still hold the top two spots.
There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to Jenner’s feat, but social media users zeroed in on the term “self-made” – and not for the first time. A similar reaction ensued when Forbes selected Jenner to be the cover star for its 2018 list of the country’s richest “self-made” women. Was it fair to use that word to describe the cosmetics mogul, the public asked, given that she was born into a rich family and owes much of her early fame to half-sister Kim Kardashian West? And what about their mom/manaager, Kris Jenner, who pulls all the strings?
“It’s the power of social media,” Jenner told Forbes, which notes that she has more than 175 million followers across Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter. “I had such a strong reach before I was able to start anything.”
The company was renamed Kylie Cosmetics in February 2016, when Jenner stocked the site with 500,000 more lip kits in multiple shades, and it has since expanded to other makeup products. (The lip kits still go for $29.) Forbes reports that Kylie Cosmetics made $307 million in its first year, but sales grew only slightly until this past November, when Jenner partnered with the beauty store Ulta to sell her products at brick-and-mortar retailers.
Kylie Cosmetics made about $360 million last year. Forbes says Jenner’s company is worth at least $900 million and, when adding the money Jenner already had and subtracting her mother’s 10 percent management fee, that puts her at $1 billion.
(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Sonia Rao ·