Kim Kardashian West and Fendi’s Kim Jones unveil the debut of their design collaboration Skims x Fendi on the cover of WSJ. Magazine’s November Innovators Issue! Kardashian West will be honored, along with 7 other cultural groundbreakers at WSJ. Magazine’s Innovator Awards virtual presentation on November 1st at 8:00 PM EST.
SECRETLY, FOR 10 HOURS in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, this past March, Kim Kardashian West and her Skims team met with fashion designer Kim Jones and his team from the Italian label Fendi for a marathon fitting session. At the time, most Europeans were blocked from entering the U.S. due to pandemic controls, but it was essential that they meet in person. Kardashian West is the fit model for a just-released collaboration between Fendi and Skims, an undergarments and apparel label she launched in 2019.
Cabo offered a convenient location a short flight from Kardashian West’s Southern California hillside estate. “We didn’t even spend the night there,” says Kardashian West, a stickler for efficiency. She flew home to her four children, ages 2 to 8, in time for bed.
The Fendi x Skims collaboration, which launched November 2, is poised to link the legacy Roman fashion label, which was founded in 1925, with millions of members of Generation K, an ever-multiplying group of Kardashian-Jenner-obsessed consumers, many of whom have followed the clan since the reality television show Keeping Up With the Kardashians debuted in 2007. It is a complete ready-to-wear collection, including formfitting tops and dresses starting at $950, $1,100 leggings and a $2,950 puffer jacket, as well as Fendi x Skims–logo-printed underwear, shapewear and hosiery. There is a range of swimsuits, from a barely-there bikini to sporty one-pieces and surf tops, all in a mash-up print of the labels’ logos. A $4,200 leather dress with wraps crisscrossing the bosom comes in eight muted shades, from beige to earthy brown. The collection is sexy, stretchy and athletic-looking, in viscose or velvet knits and available in solid colors, including neutrals, much like the minimalist Skims underwear.
Skims, a mere two years old, is continuing a rapid expansion beyond its beginnings with inclusive shapewear and bras, having added pajamas, loungewear, dresses and children’s wear, with more to come. Each new drop is centered around a specific fabric (jacquard, velour, cotton and so on), and items can sell out quickly. It’s already surpassed unicorn status, having been valued at $1.6 billion. Kardashian West has both majority ownership and creative control of Skims, which ships globally and can be shopped for online in currencies including the Turkmenistani manat and the Malawian kwacha.
KKW on building a corporate enterprise: “I hope so,” she replies when asked if she intends to develop a broad corporate enterprise. “But I think of it more on the day-to-day. I’m just like, this is my vision. This is what I want to get done. If it turns into this huge beauty conglomerate? Oh, my God; that’s so amazing! Obviously, it’s everyone’s goal. You want it to be as amazing and huge as possible.”
KKW on her packed daily schedule: “My days are completely micromanaged to the minute,” she says. “In order to get away from the kids, I will go into my office at my house and study. And then working on beauty and rebranding and Skims, constantly, I’m always in fittings and fabric meetings. My days are pretty full…. And that’s it. I love to be home; I love my weekends at home.”
Is she a workaholic? “I know, I know, I am,” Kardashian West says. “I get a lot of my work ethic from my dad.”
KKW on brand building early in the beginning: “It was just whatever the feeling was. We were like on a collection basis,” she says. “I didn’t know the business so I didn’t know how you could evolve.”
She’s now learning about the difference between ready-made packaging and the more luxurious look of custom-tooled designs. “I did what I could at the time,” Kardashian West says of her early packaging.
KKW on being her own fit model: “I really like to be a fit model…I need to feel it,” she says. “I probably do so much more work than people assume, that might not even be necessary at this point. But I do it.”
KKW on the genesis of Skims x Fendi: The Fendi collaboration came about as a result, she says, of her friendship with Kim Jones. She heard that women in his office were fans of Skims. “So I sent him a bunch,” she says. Jones flew to Calabasas to discuss a collaboration in December 2020.
KKW on Skims plans: Kardashian West says she is not thinking about adding ready-to-wear to Skims. “Not that we have discussed. That’s definitely not part of the plan, definitely not in the next couple of year[s],” she says. She is, though, intending to bring out more workout wear (“yoga-ish,” she says).
KKW on taking over for her mother as family manager one day: She now weighs in on most of the family’s deals jointly with Kris Jenner. “If there’s a deal, it’s always my mom, me and our attorney talking it over,” Kardashian West says.
People close to the family expect her to take the reins when Kris, 66, one day retires. “We’ve talked about it. I would assemble a team of people to take over,” Kardashian West says. “I hope it doesn’t happen for a really long time, because I’m really busy.”
This article is featured in WSJ. Magazine’s November Issue out on newsstands Saturday, November 13th.
[Photo Credit: Annemarieke van Drimmelen for WSJ. Magazine]