What you need to know about Kylie Jenner's wealth - and why she's considered 'self-made'.


Kylie Jenner is officially the world’s youngest ‘self-made’ billionaire.

But as part of the insanely famous and insanely rich Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kylie’s ‘self-made’ title has been called into question.

There’s no doubt she was born into privilege and status that enabled her to start her makeup empire Kylie Cosmetics and be successful in a way that your everyday woman cannot.

Forbes associate editor Natalie Robehmed broke the story about Kylie’s net worth milestone and spoke to Mamamia‘s daily news podcast The Quicky about why the self-made title fits.

Listen to the latest episode of The Quicky. Post continues after audio.

Forbes defines self-made in opposition to inherited wealth, so essentially if you inherited your company or inherited your entire fortune you don’t count as self-made, but Kylie counts as self-made because she started her company herself, she did not inherit it,” she told host Claire Murphy.

The magazine also uses a scale to measure self-made, because obviously self-made Kylie and self-made Oprah are not the same.


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“Forbes does also have a scale to measure self-made because we understand that there’s a great amount of difference within the term and that just calling someone self-made doesn’t truly illustrate how self-made they are,” Robehmed explained.

“On that scale, somebody like Oprah counts as a 10 in that she bootstrapped and came from absolutely nothing to make her billions. A one would be somebody who is very much born with a silver spoon and inherited every single dollar that they have and have nothing to grow their wealth.

“Kylie ranks a seven because she comes from a wealthy family and has been able to parlay that fame into a business that she built all herself and does own 100% of. By that definition, she’s self-made.”

Robehmed said Kylie far out-earns her siblings – even Kim, whose own makeup line KKW Beauty is selling well, but not on the same scale as Kylie Cosmetics.


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Kylie Cosmetics went from earning US$3.7million in 2016 following the launch of Kylie’s first lip kits to US$360m in 2018, but for a company making that much revenue, Kylie’s payroll remains surprisingly low because she outsources a lot of the process, including manufacturing, online sales and distribution.

“Then she has seven full-time and five part-time employees on her payroll to deal with all sorts of other things,” Robehmed said.

PR and finance? Well, momager Kris has that covered while Kylie takes charge with the vision for products and driving the business’ direction.

Robehmed said that despite her self-made title, it would be “very, very difficult” for Kylie to create such a successful business without the profile gained from Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and simply being a part of such a famous family.

“I think if we look at any of the recent women, particularly in make-up, who have broken through, they have done so with the aid of social media. So, without the head start that she got from her family and social media it’s really hard to imagine that Kylie Jenner would be a billionaire now.”