Kylie Jenner Defends 'Self-Made' Billionaire Label: 'Not a Dime in My Bank Account Is Inherited'
Forbes recently named Kylie Jenner, 21, the youngest self-made billionaire ever
Kylie Jenner wants to make one thing clear: Her massive fortune is entirely of her own making.
“There’s really no other word to use other than self-made because that is the truth,” says the 21-year-old creator and owner of Kylie Cosmetics. “That is the category that I fall under.”
Jenner does acknowledge that her family’s fame gave her a platform, but she says she’s been financially independent for the last six years.
“I am a special case because before I started Kylie Cosmetics, I had a huge platform and lots of fans,” she says. “I did not get money from my parents past the age of 15. I used 100 percent of my own money to start the company, not a dime in my bank account is inherited… and I am very proud of that.”
Even though she always “believed” in Kylie Cosmetics, Jenner herself is surprised by the booming success of the company.
“I never thought that this could happen. I believed in Kylie Cosmetics but I didn’t even know what I was getting myself into,” she says. “It feels amazing, it’s wild, and being the youngest ever to do it is a blessing. I now want to focus on giving back to people and doing things that I’m passionate about.”
She says she hopes she’s remembered as someone who “pushed boundaries, inspired them, worked incredibly hard, set trends, and made history with my business — all at a young age.”
“I hope to inspire other young women to know that there are no limits and to work hard for what you believe in,” she adds.
Forbes first predicted Jenner’s fortune ahead of her 21st birthday last August, diving into her then-$800 million cosmetics empire and estimating that she was on track to become the “youngest self-made billionaire ever, male or female” — surpassing even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who became a billionaire at age 23.
Driven by Kylie Cosmetics’ expansion into Ulta last year, the company’s revenue climbed 9 percent to an estimated $360 million, with the overall valuation of the brand estimated at $900 million, which Forbes called a “conservative” report. Jenner owns 100 percent of Kylie Cosmetics, which first launched in 2015 with three Lip Kits.
But Jenner’s billion-dollar-empire also stems from her other earnings: She also rakes in product endorsements, cashes in her KUWTK paychecks, and boasts clothing lines and brand deals.
“I didn’t expect anything. I did not foresee the future,” Jenner told Forbes. “But [the recognition] feels really good. That’s a nice pat on the back.”
Overall, the businesswoman credits her success to the internet (she has over 129 million Instagram followers alone).
“It’s the power of social media,” she said. “I had such a strong reach before I was able to start anything.”
“My parents told me I needed to make my own money, it’s time to learn how to save and spend your own money, stuff like that,” she told PAPER magazine in February. “What I’m trying to say is I did have a platform, but none of my money is inherited.”
That said, the reality star and mother of 1-year-old daughter Stormi says her wealth doesn’t define her.
“I don’t define myself by how much I have,” she said. “I honestly don’t wake up even thinking about it.”