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With 71.9 million Instagram followers, a best-selling app and a coveted beauty range, Kylie Jenner is the Insta-fairest of them all. “I feel like I’m an inspiration for young girls who want to stand on their own.” “People think they know everything about
uring the hour that Kylie Jenner has sat for this interview on the patio of her home in Calabasas, US, the 19 year old will have amassed nearly 4 000 new Instagram followers. “I get 100 000 new followers every day,” the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star says from behind a phone emblazoned with big lips. Just over nine million more, and she’ll outdo her half-sister Kim Kardashian West and become reigning Queen of Instagram. Is it a running joke between her and her famous sisters? A bit of light-hearted sibling rivalry? “No. We don’t joke about social media.”
Why would they? Aside from shrewd business sense and devastating bodies, social media has been the single most helpful career and fortune-boosting tool in the Kardashian/jenner household. But whereas Kim, Kourtney and Khloé had to master the art in their 20s, Kylie and her model sister Kendall were social-media bred. Kylie was six when Facebook launched, eight when Twitter arrived and 13 when Instagram began.
Now a virtuoso of all three platforms (with over 105 million followers in total), this savvy teenager has an ability to propel fashion and beauty trends that may surpass that of her older sisters.
Hairstylists swear by her extensions range, Kylie Hair Kouture; Kendall + Kylie, the Topshop clothing and shoe brand she launched with her sister, is going from strength to strength; and it’s now her ‘breaking the internet’ with the launch of her Kylie Lip Kit – a collection of pencil lip liners and matching liquid matte lipsticks in eight shades – which sold out within minutes last November. And again this year in February. And again when a new shade was added.
“I’ve been so surprised. I didn’t think my lip kit would be so huge – and the fact that people can’t get it is crazy,” she says. “But my goal wasn’t to always have it sell out: I want girls to get it as easily as possible. It’s just that no matter how much we make, it sells out even faster.”
‘The Kylie Effect’ isn’t so much a result of her appearance on Keeping Up with the Kardashians as her addictive online persona. Her Kylie Jenner Official App – which features photos, videos, and beauty and style tips – topped the itunes chart the moment it launched last year, while her Instagram merely hints at the life she has with her on-again off-again rapper boyfriend Tyga, and BFFS – like Hailey Baldwin – rather than giving full insight like other celebrities.
“Living in the spotlight means people think they know everything about me. They don’t. I only show what I want them to see,” she says. “And in time, I’ll slowly start moving behind the scenes. The show has to end eventually, and I’m not going to leave until we’re all done with it, but by 20 I want to have the whole of my cosmetics line out, because that’s my primary focus. I definitely don’t want to be doing anything else that would make me more public. But social media will always be a huge part of what I do – and it’s also really important for my #Iammorethan campaign.”
The anti-bullying Instagram campaign Kylie launched last September encourages victims to speak out and help others. And the cause wasn’t chosen at random. “I wasn’t bullied at school, because I went to a small private school where I knew everyone. It was social media that inspired me to start the campaign,” admits the girl who grew up on reality TV… with online bullies.
“The haters”, as she calls them, had opinions on everything, from her early rumoured relationships with Cody Simpson and Jaden Smith to her looks and filled lips that have become her motif. “I’ve been dealing with it all my life,” she sighs, and for a minute, this confident young entrepreneur, in her designer tracksuit and R36 million home, looks as vulnerable as any 19 year old. “The good thing is that now I can get over it super fast. If it does affect me, it’ll be for one minute and then it’s behind me – and I’ll rarely respond.”
When we mention one of our favourite Kylie troll quashes, – “Stop sippin’ on that haterade” – she laughs. “I just don’t understand why people do it. I guess some people are sad and insecure. But dealing with it all has only made me stronger. I mean, yes, there are mean comments, but when I make a public
appearance, there may be 5 000 people there, so I started to realise that to keep on progressing was all that mattered. Plus, I just really believe the more people who love you, the more there will be mean things said about you. So just keep on getting bigger, better and stronger.”
Rather than feel hemmed in by the title of ‘role model’, she prefers to think of herself as “an inspiration to young girls”. “I do feel like I inspire them, because I’m always changing up my look and experimenting. One week I’ll be really glam and girlie, and the next, a punk with blue hair. I see a lot of girls following my trends and, because they’re experimenting, becoming more comfortable in their own skin.”
Does she consider herself a feminist like Kim? “I mean, of course I do, but I don’t stand up in public a lot that way. Not that I don’t feel things in my personal life, but yes: I do consider myself a feminist. I’m a young woman and I don’t depend on a man or anybody else. I make my own money and start my own businesses, and I feel like I’m an inspiration for a lot of young girls who want to stand on their own.”
It’s important to Kylie for people to understand that all that was passed down to her from her parents was business acumen. “I haven’t had a dollar of my mom’s money for five years. Ever since I started earning my own money, I’ve paid for everything. And my parents are proud of me, because I’ve always told them I wanted to do my own thing. And now that I know what that is, something I’m passionate about, they’re happy.”
Kylie’s relationship with the woman “I still call ‘Dad’” is particularly strong. “I love supporting her with things like her M·A·C campaign. She was so excited when it was announced, and called me immediately so we could go to supper and celebrate.” Does she give Caitlyn advice? “Not on what to do, but on style and makeup, yes. She loves the lip kits and gives them to all her makeup artists and friends. She’s proud of me because she knows how hard I work.”
Not only does Kylie write every Tweet and post every Instagram herself, but she never unplugs (“If I leave Instagram for a week… can you imagine? It’s such a big part of my job”), presides over every meeting and does her own accounting. “I like to know exactly what’s going on [with my finances] and I’m quite careful with what I spend. We all are as a family.”
With a 9.29 square metre walk-in wardrobe, it’s hard to believe. “I have a room for my shoes, but I wear a lot of low-end items, chain store brands that I don’t tell anybody about,” she laughs. “And I don’t like splurging, unless it’s on cars. That’s what I spend the most on.”
Life behind the lens
Although it may seem that Kylie has it all, not many would envy what success means in terms of its restrictions on normal life. She’d planned on doing a business degree, for example, but “doesn’t see it happening now. I can’t imagine myself sitting in a classroom,” she admits. “I think it would be more distracting for people than beneficial.”
Does she regret having had the world watch her grow up? “No, because I still enjoy it, and it’s the best job to work with your family. Plus, I don’t think the way things are now is necessarily about being on the show. I think other things made it hard for me to do normal things.”
Like going to parties, which make her uncomfortable and anxious when trying too hard to have fun with friends. “But when you’ve been doing this a while, you realise there are things you can and can’t do, and I’m always aware that my friends haven’t experienced many of the amazing things I have,” she admits. “So of course, it has all been a blessing.”
And through all the upheavals of the past few years, one thing has kept Kylie calm and sane: “My family,” she says. “Yes, there have been tough moments, but imagine how different, how much harder, it would’ve been if we hadn’t had one other.” And with that, she dives back behind her phone, lost to the world.
Imagine being able to see yourself in looks you spotted on a mannequin or in a catalogue in a matter of minutes, and all without leaving the comfort of your home, let alone getting changed. “Grocery shopping to be done? You will be able to pop on a headset and walk through a virtual reality store, selecting what you need and then have it all delivered to your door via an unmanned drone,” says Merle. If this sounds like something out of a movie, know that it became a reality in January when Mastercard launched Groceries by Mastercard, an app that can be loaded onto a Samsung Family Hub fridge for future use. The downside to all of this convenience? “It could lead to a decline in smaller, local businesses, as they will lose their convenience factor,” says Merle.
We’ll need to adapt and adopt new skills
A ‘sharing economy’ will be the norm by 2025. “Think car sharing or cross-skilled, hybrid workforces,” says Dion. “This will be the result of advances in the form of mechanisation and robotics. Drones will fill the sky as they deliver goods to our homes and conduct surveillance – from crowd control to scanning thousands of number plates. And traffic lights will be replaced by robots, something that has already been implemented in India.”
We’ll also need to acquire new skills in order to stay in the workforce, as a host of new careers involving manufacturing, designing and maintaining new technology emerge.
Florence, Rome, Milan… the names alone conjure up images of magnificent historic buildings, cobbled streets – and women and men who look like off-duty movie stars. Except, they’re not movie stars. They’re regular Italian folk doing one of the things that Italians do best: dressing exquisitely. As for inspiring style icons, you could say that Sandro Botticelli’s Venus and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa were two of the first, but how about Sophia Loren, Monica Bellucci and Chiara Ferragni among others? So, how do those stylish Italians do it? That’s what we asked Cristian Galluzzi and Claudio Sousa of Cape Town’s Italian designer label Galluzziegini.
Cristian After studying fashion design in Milan, I apprenticed for a tailor for three years. Then, in 2002, a friend and I opened a shop just outside Milan. It was hard as we had plenty of competition, but with perseverance and talent the business grew, and we moved into evening wear and wedding dresses. Around 13 years later, we opened three more shops and then, after a trip to SA in 2014, we
What should you wear to a glamorous party? Italians are very conscious of dressing appropriately. Be conservative during the day (no revealing clothes or bright colours) and bring on the sexy at night.
If you’re curvy, we suggest wearing a long mermaid-style gown with delicate embroidery or beading – you can go all out with embellishments for evening!
If you’re athletic or have a boyish figure, a dress with a cinched waist and a full lace skirt will give the illusion of curves.
A jumpsuit is great if you don’t want to wear a dress. The most flattering cut is when it’s fitted at the top and loose on the bottom.