VOGUE Australia - - CONTENTS -

Mother, in­flu­encer and al­most-bil­lion­aire, Kylie Jen­ner talks to her sis­ter Ken­dall about work, moth­er­hood and what mat­ters to her the most.

Mother, in­flu­encer and al­most-bil­lion­aire, Kylie Jen­ner talks to her sis­ter Ken­dall about work, moth­er­hood and what mat­ters to her the most. By Remy Rip­pon. Styled by Chris­tine Cen­ten­era. Pho­tographed by Jackie Nick­er­son.

Kylie Jen­ner could click her fin­gers and have just about any­thing she wanted in the world – but on a Fri­day af­ter­noon in one of the many cel­lu­lar dead zones of Los An­ge­les, mo­bile phone re­cep­tion doesn’t fall into that cat­e­gory. The 21-year-old is gen­uinely apolo­getic when she even­tu­ally con­nects with her older sis­ter and to­day’s in­ter­viewer, Ken­dall, five and a half hours later than the sched­uled in­ter­view time.

Jen­ner is phon­ing from the bed­room of the LA home she shares with her boyfriend, 26-year-old rap­per Travis Scott, whom she met at last year’s Coachella mu­sic fes­ti­val (which Scott was head­lin­ing), and their seven-month-old daugh­ter, Stormi Web­ster. The last time she went off the grid – post­ing spo­rad­i­cally to her so­cial chan­nels and sidestep­ping public ap­pear­ances – was dur­ing her preg­nancy. No Demi-Moore-on- Van­ity-Fair- style preg­nancy shoots, and re­mark­ably, not even a cryptic drip-feed­ing of preg­nancy-re­lated vox pops via Keep­ing Up With The Kar­dashi­ans. She did what many in her po­si­tion would have thought un­think­able, if not im­pos­si­ble – Jen­ner sim­ply shut out fame for a while.

Days af­ter the ar­rival of her healthy baby girl on the first day of Fe­bru­ary, she re­con­nected with her 112 mil­lion In­sta­gram fol­low­ers ex­plain­ing her brief hia­tus: “I un­der­stand you’re used to me bring­ing you along on all my jour­neys. My preg­nancy was one I chose not to do in front of the world. I knew for my­self I needed to pre­pare for this role of a life­time in the most pos­i­tive, stress-free and healthy way I knew how.”

Whether in­ten­tion­ally or not, it marked a pivot point: a time-stamped di­vide be­tween Kylie, the youngest of one of the world’s most recog­nis­able fam­i­lies, and a sort of com­ing-of-age Kylie: mother, tastemaker and, thanks to the run­away suc­cess of Kylie Cos­met­ics, one hell of a beauty pi­o­neer. In un­der three years, her make-up line has raked in sales of more than $630 mil­lion (she owns it out­right, too), and ac­cord­ing to Forbes, she’s po­si­tioned to knock Mark Zucker­berg off the perch of youngest self-made bil­lion­aire. Not bad for some­one who has only just reached the le­gal drink­ing age in her home state and is of­ten un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously anointed with the ‘fa­mous for be­ing fa­mous’ tagline. Jen­ner is a force, which­ever way you dice it.

In­deed, Jen­ner’s suc­cess paints a com­pelling pic­ture of the beauty in­dus­try in 2018. Right now there are likely board­rooms of beauty ex­ec­u­tives strate­gis­ing and de­cod­ing sales fig­ures in an ef­fort to recre­ate even a frac­tion of the magic dust they’re sprin­kling over there at Kylie Cos­met­ics. But Jen­ner (and, of course, her be­yond-savvy mother, Kris) knows that the most suc­cess­ful busi­nesses set out to solve a prob­lem. By her own ac­count, Jen­ner’s in­se­cu­rity has long been her lips. In an ef­fort to make them ap­pear plumper, she be­gan over­draw­ing them, car­i­ca­turestyle and fill­ing them in with lip­sticks so punchy it was as if they were tat­tooed in place. Jen­ner then be­gan fill­ing them with heartier stuff, ac­tual filler, in fact, which only in­flated the ob­ses­sion (though not long af­ter our shoot, she replied to an In­sta­gram com­ment, ex­plain­ing she had re­moved the fillers). Her lips be­came as syn­ony­mous with brand Kylie as her sis­ter Kim Kar­dashian West’s der­rière has been to her own im­age, and the im­pe­tus for Kylie Cos­met­ics.

In the time it took Jen­ner to re­fresh her web­site’s browser – mere sec­onds – she had en­tirely sold out of the brand’s first prod­uct, the now leg­endary Lip Kit. The be­gin­nings of her brand may not have been en­tirely strate­gic, but there’s no deny­ing it was au­then­tic.

All of this – the highs (and lows) of the spot­light, the un­par­al­leled busi­ness suc­cess and, of course, moth­er­hood – has dis­tilled a ma­tu­rity and self-as­sured­ness in Jen­ner that’s well be­yond her years. Like the now old-fash­ioned bricks-and-mor­tar store fronts (which are also in the pipe­line for Kylie Cos­met­ics), the self-con­fi­dent self­ies and provoca­tive Snapchats she fires off daily are merely the glossy frontage for an in­cred­i­bly de­ter­mined young woman who is build­ing – so far, ex­tremely well – a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar em­pire. Al­though she may be the clos­est thing to a poster girl for an en­tire gen­er­a­tion – a co­hort largely fo­cused on the now – Jen­ner has her eyes firmly con­cen­trated on the fu­ture. And from here, it looks bright.

KEN­DALL: “Hi, sis­ter.”

KYLIE: “Hi.”

KEN­DALL: “So, this is so funny, be­cause I feel like I al­ready know a lot of the an­swers, but Ky, how has your life changed since you be­came a mum? And you don’t have to say that we be­came closer, be­cause that was my an­swer.”

KYLIE: “I don’t think my life has changed since be­com­ing a mum: I think the way I look at life has changed since be­com­ing a mum. I think more of the fu­ture. I used to live each day as it came, and now I look at the fu­ture more. I ac­tu­ally feel like I love my­self more af­ter I had Stormi. And I’m try­ing to be … I mean, I’m al­ready a pos­i­tive per­son, but just hav­ing fun, be­ing pos­i­tive.”

KEN­DALL: “Yeah, I can feel that. I feel you’re a lot nicer to me, now that you have a kid.”

KYLIE: “Yeah.”

KEN­DALL: “Do you feel you have more of a re­spon­si­bil­ity on so­cial me­dia, and the in­flu­ence that comes with it, now that you have a baby?”

KYLIE: “No, I never re­ally felt a re­spon­si­bil­ity on­line. I al­ways felt like be­ing my­self was the best.”

KEN­DALL: “Yeah. Feel. You. Go­ing into be­ing a kid, stick­ing with that theme, what’s your most mem­o­rable mo­ment from be­ing young?”

KYLIE: “I think the most mem­o­rable mo­ments from be­ing young are the mem­o­ries that we shared to­gether, and just like, our fam­ily, like hol­i­days. They used to be so much fun for us. I mean, they still are, but like just so much fun back then, even play­ing with Bar­bies, or the fights we would get in, like we re­ally were.”

KEN­DALL: “The Bar­bie sitches. I feel like the Bar­bies were one of my strong­est mem­o­ries and just us be­ing stupid and like get­ting into trou­ble.”

KYLIE: “Yeah, they were.”

KEN­DALL: “And when I would steal Mum and Dad’s car so I could drive you places. So, how did your brand come about? Your Lip Kits?”

KYLIE: “My Lip Kits started with num­ber one, my ob­ses­sion with make-up and lips specif­i­cally and just how I took my in­se­cu­rity with my lips and turned it into my busi­ness model. Some­thing I just be­came ob­sessed with was lips and lip­stick, and how wear­ing lip­stick made me feel. I just loved big­ger lips, and I just got ob­sessed. To this day, I can’t leave the house without lip­stick. So, I just think I’m ob­sessed with do­ing my make-up and watch­ing tu­to­ri­als and that’s kind of how Kylie Cos­met­ics started.”

KEN­DALL: “Nice. What’s been the big­gest learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing the whole thing?”

KYLIE: “I think I’ve learnt a lot about the beauty world that I never knew about. Hon­estly, I never knew about the dif­fer­ence be­tween top

glass and shiny, and I just learnt a lot about that whole world. But for my busi­ness, just ac­cept­ing that mis­takes are go­ing to hap­pen, and to just do your best. They’re mostly out of your con­trol with cre­at­ing a new busi­ness, so just do your best and have great cus­tomer ser­vice.”

KEN­DALL: “Yeah, I feel like it’s also find­ing a bal­ance be­tween what you like and what your buyer likes. I feel like that is some­thing you have to adapt to.”

KYLIE: “No, I agree with you, that’s been a chal­lenge.”

KEN­DALL: “Stick­ing to the lip sich, you’ve spo­ken about how they might have been an in­se­cu­rity for you when you were younger, but do you think that has any­thing to do with peo­ple look­ing at you so in­tensely or do you think that would have been some­thing you would have done even if peo­ple weren’t look­ing at you, like they are?”

KYLIE: “I think I would’ve done the same thing, be­cause my in­se­cu­rity with my lips didn’t stem from peo­ple say­ing any­thing. I don’t even think any­one com­mented on my lips. We all have in­se­cu­ri­ties, right? No­body’s per­fect, and that’s my thing.”

KEN­DALL: “To­tally. Who’s been the most in­flu­en­tial per­son to you?” KYLIE: “Prob­a­bly our mum is the most in­flu­en­tial per­son to me. I spend a lot of time with her. We do a lot of busi­ness stuff to­gether. She’s just su­per-smart and I feel like I have a lot to learn from her.”

KEN­DALL: “Mum and I had a long talk to­day about busi­ness and per­sonal stuff, too.”

KYLIE: “She’s a smart lady.”

KEN­DALL: “She sure is.”

KEN­DALL: “So I feel like you’ve re­ally hit the nail on the head with this one. But what do you think your ‘special sauce’ is for cater­ing to young peo­ple? What do you think con­nected you with them?”

KYLIE: “I have a re­ally good re­la­tion­ship with my fans, and I just feel like I was su­per-per­sonal with them, and I let them in to ev­ery­thing. I think they saw that lip­stick, for me, was re­ally gen­uine. So it just worked.”

KEN­DALL: “What’s your goal with Kylie Cos­met­ics?”

KYLIE: “My goal with Kylie Cos­met­ics is to even­tu­ally be world­wide and have stores.”

KEN­DALL: “Do you feel as though you’ve made it in the beauty in­dus­try, Ky? Would you say you’re com­pletely sat­is­fied? Or are there things you want to work on?”

KYLIE: “No, there are def­i­nitely some things and some goals I have left to achieve and I never get too com­fort­able. I never think: ‘Oh, I made it.’ There’s def­i­nitely a lot of stuff that I have yet to do.”

KEN­DALL: “What does the fu­ture of beauty look like to you? And how has hav­ing a daugh­ter im­pacted you?”

KYLIE: “I feel like hav­ing a daugh­ter, and think­ing about beauty in the fu­ture, has def­i­nitely changed me, and I feel like it has made me love my­self more and ac­cept ev­ery­thing about me. Even my ears, I al­ways felt like they stuck out too far, and she [Stormi] has the same ears as me and so now I love my ears. It’s just hav­ing a dif­fer­ent out­look on life so I can pass that on to her. I want to be an ex­am­ple for her. What kind of ex­am­ple would I be if she said she didn’t like her ears, and then I didn’t like them ei­ther? I just want to teach her that. I’m try­ing to love my­self more.”

KEN­DALL: “I think that goes along with my next question, be­cause in this world we live in, you kind of have to have that own self-love to be able to nav­i­gate the ups and the downs. So, how have you learnt to deal with the highs and lows of the spot­light?”

KYLIE: “I feel like we never – I never – fully have like been okay with the ups and downs of, you know.”

KEN­DALL: “This life …”

KYLIE: “I feel like you just kind of have to ac­cept it.”

KEN­DALL: “One of my favourite things you did dur­ing your preg­nancy – and I know I was talk­ing to you about it a lot, so I hope that I was maybe a part of this de­ci­sion – was that you stayed re­ally low-key dur­ing your preg­nancy. I think that it was kind of beau­ti­ful. You re­ally took that time to just ap­pre­ci­ate hav­ing a baby inside of you, rather than flaunt­ing it ev­ery­where. You just took in that mag­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence. What were you think­ing when you did that and what was your whole process be­hind that?”

KYLIE: “I knew that it would be bet­ter for us, if me and Stormi just stayed kind of low-key. Your hor­mones are go­ing crazy and your emo­tions are more height­ened, and I just felt like I wasn’t pre­pared to … I just knew that it would be bet­ter for me, and I could en­joy the whole ex­pe­ri­ence if I did it pri­vately. I just felt like it was a sa­cred special mo­ment and I wasn’t ready to share it with ev­ery­body. I just wanted to keep that to my­self.”

KEN­DALL: “I love that.”

KYLIE: “I had a re­ally good time, and I feel like that’s why Stormi is so calm and so happy, be­cause I was so calm and so happy.”

KEN­DALL: “We’ve been in the spot­light for a re­ally long time. How do you think that’s im­pacted your adult life and the per­son you’ve grown into?”

KYLIE: “I feel like it has made me grow up a lot faster than usual. I think I’ve been ex­posed to a lot of things that peo­ple my age maybe have not seen.”

KEN­DALL: “I think we kind of got the best-case sce­nario. We still went to a nor­mal school and did all our nor­mal stuff and kind of like this hap­pens in the process. But I think you al­ways did a re­ally good job. We went to school, we did our home­work, we weren’t try­ing to be on the show all the time. I don’t know if it was like us, our­selves, or our fam­ily was guid­ing us in the right direc­tion, but I think we kind of got the best-case sce­nario with that. What’s the best part about watch­ing Travis be­come a fa­ther?”

KYLIE: “We both ex­pe­ri­enced this for the first time, so I love learn­ing to­gether and just watch­ing him with her. He’s so good with her and she’s re­ally ob­sessed with him.”

KEN­DALL: “What role do you think you play in our fam­ily? Do you think you’re the funny one, the cool one, the se­ri­ous one?”

KYLIE: “I feel like I’m the trou­ble­maker or the funny one.”

KEN­DALL: “Yeah, I agree with that. Okay, I re­ally ac­tu­ally need to know this an­swer. What do you want in life that money can’t buy?”

KYLIE: “I bought my­self my dream car, the LaFer­rari, and the ex­cite­ment and the hap­pi­ness lasted not that long. I have my dream house and the car I want, and I just re­alised early that those aren’t the things that make me happy. It’s a dif­fer­ent kind of hap­pi­ness. I just feel like some peo­ple get lost, and strive their whole life for ma­te­ri­al­is­tic things and then you re­alise that it’s not ev­ery­thing. I want to ap­pre­ci­ate and be com­fort­able in the place that I am, and just find hap­pi­ness in my friends and my fam­ily.”

KEN­DALL: “Good an­swer, kid. I taught you well. Love you, sweet­heart. Is there any­thing else you want to talk about?”

KYLIE: “I’m ac­tu­ally scrolling through In­sta­gram right now, and it says that me and Travis don’t live to­gether, and so I just want to say that we never miss a night with each other, we go back and forth from my Calabasas house and the city home that we ac­tu­ally got to­gether. So just if you wanted to add that in.”

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