Kylie Jenner Named World’s Youngest ‘Self-Made’ Billionaire by Forbes

By Tiffany Meier

At 21 years old, Kylie Jenner, the youngest member of the Kardashian-Jenner reality TV family, has just been named the world’s youngest billionaire.

Forbes magazine released its annual ranking of the world’s richest people on Tuesday, March 5, and this year’s list included a new name. Aside from making the billionaire’s list for the first time, Jenner is also the world’s youngest billionaire, as well as the “youngest self-made billionaire of all time” according to Forbes.

The business magazine ranked Jenner as the world’s 2,057th richest person. At 21, Jenner became a billionaire two years before Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, who was 23 when he became a billionaire in 2008.

“I didn’t expect anything,” Jenner said in an interview with Forbes. “I did not foresee the future. But [the recognition] feels really good. That’s a nice pat on the back.”

Forbes credited the success of Jenner’s makeup company, Kylie Cosmetics, with her new billionaire status. Jenner founded Kylie Cosmetics in 2015, known for its liquid lipsticks and lip liners, which she runs with the help of her mother, Kris.

While her cosmetics initially sold online and in pop-up shops, there was a massive increase in sales after Jenner signed an exclusive distribution deal with the beauty retailer Ulta.

Jenner showed up to the Ulta in Houston to help promote sales by greeting customers, signing autographs, and posing with fans for selfies.

“I popped up at a few stores, I did my usual social media—I did what I usually do, and it just worked,” she said.

Over the next six weeks, Kylie Cosmetics sold over $54.5 million worth of products in Ulta, reported Forbes.

Forbes estimated that Jenner’s cosmetic company made $360 million in sales last year. Most of those sales came directly from her social media accounts.

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SETTING POWDERS by @kyliecosmetics launching March 7th????

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“It’s the power of social media,” Jenner said. “I had such a strong reach before I was able to start anything.”

On Instagram, she has 128 million followers, another 26.7 million on Twitter, and another 20 million on Facebook. Through her wide reach on social media, Jenner announces new product launches directly to her followers.

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Applying Twinning Velvet from the KKW X KYLIE 4 piece launching on #BlackFriday ????

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Jenner is also able to drive up sales by sparking fear of missing out (fomo) among her fans with warnings that collections are limited. Her initial stock of $29 “lip kits” sold out in under a minute, crashing the website.

Her cosmetic company has just seven full-time staff and is almost completely outsourced. Jenner also doesn’t need to worry about the business’s finances or public relations for the firm. Those are all taken care of by her mother, Kris, who manages all her children’s finances and public relations in exchange for a ten percent cut of the profits.

Jenner also expanded the line beyond lip products. Kylie Cosmetics now includes cosmetics such as concealer and makeup brushes and has plans to add a setting powder, eyeshadows, and bronzers.

Jenner has also launched makeup collaborations with her sisters Khloe Kardashian and Kim Kardashian West.

Kim Kardashian West’s net worth is $350 million, according to a 2018 ranking by Forbes.