Kylie Jenner’s “Khy” represents a new chapter in her journey through the beauty industry. With a focus on authenticity, inclusivity, and self-love, the brand aims to empower individuals to express their true selves and embrace their personal beauty. As “Khy” continues to evolve, it promises to make a meaningful impact in an industry that often revolves around appearances, proving that beauty is about more than just makeup; it’s about self-acceptance and confidence.
Kylie Jenner comes on the call. It’s the day before her new brand Khy delivers its debut fashion drop—numbered 001‚ and it also happens to be Halloween. So is she even a little spooked? “I’m really nervous,” Jenner ventures. “But I’m also really excited.” By the time this micro-interview is posted, that debut drop’s 12-piece micro-offer co-designed with Berlin-based Namilia should be available on Khy’s e-store. For now, though, Jenner and her 25-strong team has its pre-registration intel with which to gauge appetite. “There’s been a strong level of interest,” she says without disclosing numbers: “And lots of engagement on all socials. It’s greater than I could have imagined.”
It’s been a week since Khy’s existence was revealed by the Wall Street Journal. Even before its launch, the newspaper named Khy winner of the Brand category at its 2023 Innovator Awards, honoring Jenner as only the third-ever recipient in the category after Nike’s Mark Parker in 2015 and Skims’s Kim Kardashian in 2021. Ever since, Khy has been subject to widespread scrutiny and speculation—just as you’d anticipate, considering the founder’s gilt-edged eyeball-metric in the global attention economy.
Yet just because her following on Instagram and TikTok is approaching half a billion people, doesn’t mean that Jenner isn’t engaging in the day-to-day grind of growing Khy from the ground up. “I want people to know how completely involved I am in this,” she says firmly. “From original concept, to designing, or co-designing if we’re working with other designers, from picking fabrics, colors, I’ve been in every fit meeting. I am the creative director of the brand and marketing. There’s not an Instagram post or video that hasn’t been personally edited by me, there hasn’t been an Instagram post that I haven’t posted myself. I do the creative for all my shoots. I’ve worked really hard on it, I’ve put my love into it, and I can’t wait for people to experience the clothes. It’s very personal.”
That personal aspect is embedded within the first drop, co-designed with Namilia’s Nan Li and Emilia Pfohl. Around the same time Namilia’s founders were studying their vocation in London’s Royal College of Art during the early 2010’s, the then-teen “King Kylie” was shaping her own digital curriculum via a Tumblr christened Kalifornia Klasss. And it’s no accident of design that Khy’s first drop is meant to reflect that formative period. Jenner says: “It is really significant. King Kylie for me was less about what I was wearing, and more about how I felt in that era. I just felt confident, free, and I didn’t care what anyone said. I think that there’s a lot of power in that—and I’m definitely channeling my King Kylie energy this year.”
So if the starting point of drop 001 channels what Jenner calls “the time when I was growing into myself,” how will what’s ahead for Khy further reflect her identity? “I’m always experimenting with my style and I’m always switching it up. That’s why it was important to us to make the drops really different.” She adds: “I think people will be surprised to see drop two, and how different it is from drop one. And we have lots of exciting things coming.” As well as future collaborations with other designers Jenner calls “iconic” (but won’t yet reveal), she will eventually drop what she calls “my independently designed core Khy line.” This will contain the fundamental building blocks of the contemporary wardrobe Jenner envisages.
Whether at Acne Studios, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, or Schiaparelli, Jenner threw herself into the runway circuit this fall. She says that in addition to forging “so many relationships” in the industry on her tour, the experience gave her “so much more appreciation and love for the fashion world and how fast and fun it is. Every time I go to Paris, amazing things happen. I love the world, and I’m excited to be a part of it.” There is no question that whichever emerging designers Jenner might elect to partner with in future Khy drops, they will all receive a huge, unquantifiably valuable, onrush of visibility. Jenner says: “These designers are amazing. I am also a fan. And the way I’ve been looking at it is that I’m grateful that they want to work with me and be a part of this. Especially Namilia, to collaborate with me on a brand that hasn’t even launched yet.”
Around the same time she stopped posting to Tumblr in 2015 Jenner founded Kylie Lip Kits, which turned into Kylie Cosmetics. It disrupted the beauty industry and earned her a fortune. Today she says that the project’s birth was “intuitive,” and adds: “I think beauty and fashion go hand in hand. For me, I think beauty can make or break a good fashion look. For this line the main goal is to bring major fashion pieces, and work with these amazing designers and have it be accessible—having everything in this first drop be under $200 dollars was very important to me.” On the subject of sustainability, she adds, “at Khy, we have a commitment to upholding high ethical standards and legal compliance across our business and product supply chain. We work with suppliers and vendors who share this dedication to sustainability, accountability, and transparency.”
Jenner has to get back to the Khy-related video editing project she dropped onto this call from, so beyond those all-important fans and her all-important clan, who would she most like to dress in Khy? “I’m probably going to say Jennifer Lawrence,” she replies.
Khy is selling DTC: Direct To Consumer. Given Jenner’s following, this would make a more appropriate acronym as Direct To Community. Before signing off, she says: “I keep saying the word ‘accessible,’ but I think it’s the right word… My fans want to wear the things that I’m wearing and I want to bring that to them.”