Forbes has named Kylie Jenner, the daughter of former Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner and reality TV star Kris Jenner, the youngest self-made billionare ever.
The 21-year-old has an estimated net worth of $1 billion. Her immense wealth is said to be drawn from her eponymous makeup brand, Kylie Cosmetics. The launch of her makeup collaboration with Ulta, popular American beauty chain, featured her iconic lip kits in the initial launch.
Her brand exploded- Kylie Cosmetics sold $54.5 million worth of products in Ulta, according to estimates from Oppenheimer. Her brand is now estimated by Forbes to be worth at least $900 million. Not too shabby.
However, the announcement has drawn flak and criticism from many who doubt that Jenner’s fortune is ‘self-made’. For one, she grew up as a wealthy reality TV star, with famous half-sister Kim Kardashian who propelled the family into worldwide fame (and perhaps notoriety), and with a similarly famous mother to helped her business along. Kylie didn’t exactly have to suffer and grovel for her makeup brand to take off- she was already famous and success was guaranteed.
In response, Forbes published an article asserting the justifications for their assessment, saying:
To be clear, Forbes defines “self-made” as someone who built a company or established a fortune on her own, rather than inheriting some or all of it. As long as the list member didn’t inherit a business or money, she is labeled self-made. But the term is very broad, and does not adequately reflect how far some people have come and, relatively speaking, how much easier others have had it.
So she has earned her fortune, but it came a lot easier for her than most because of her position of privilege. Good for her- some are luckier than most, and she is very lucky indeed.