Kardashians' worst business fails before Kim hit $4bn jackpot with Skims – including cringe launch with top UK store | The Sun

THEY'RE the most famous family on the planet who have been followed around by camera crews for over a decade.

But, despite their huge profile, they've had to build their brand empire through a lot of trial and error.

Over the years, the Kardashian clan has launched every business venture under the sun, from prepaid cards to make-up brands and clothing collections.

Kim Kardashian, 43, finally struck gold with her shapewear collection Skims, which is now thought to be worth $4 billion.

Brand and culture expert Nick Ede says she has used clever marketing and psychology to allow it to buck the trend of their previous flops.

He said: “The Kardashians have had their fair share of failed brands, but they aren’t the first and certainly not the lasts.


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“Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and many serial entrepreneurs have failed concepts.

“The reason Kim has hit the jackpot with Skims is that she has played into inclusion and diversity in a strategic and clever way.

“She has created a brand that doesn’t exclude anyone and more importantly is good quality, works well and makes people feel good.

“People want to live a Kardashian lifestyle but will never be as rich or as famous as them, but they can buy into the brand and have bragging rights that they own a piece of Skims, which empowers them.”

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So, do you remember the doomed and controversial ideas that fell away first?

Dorothy Perkins range

It's hard to believe, but in 2012 the famous family decided a partnership with Dorothy Perkins would be a great way to boost their brand and make some cash.

Kim, Kourtney, 44, and Khloe, 39, designed the Kardashian ­Kollection together, featuring everything from skirts to handbags and shoes to dresses.

The partnership with Phillip Green's company saw their clothing sold in 13 different countries, including Thailand and Turkey.

"We're looking forward to expanding our line and making the Kardashian Kollection available to so many more people," read a statement from the sisters.

“We pride ourselves on having a line that is affordable and yet of great quality, and we're excited to bring it to new territories.”

Despite the hype, UK shoppers seemed unbothered by the new collection – and a flagship red carpet launch in Scotland fell flat when just two eager teenagers turned up.

Nina, 30, told the Daily Record: “We came early because we thought there would be a big queue, but we were surprised there wasn’t a bigger crowd.”

The line struggled on for four more years, but was often seen heavily discounted in retailers before fizzling out around 2016.

Cashing out

In one of the more unusual collaborations in the celebrity world, the siblings launched their own prepaid bank card in 2010.

It was targeted at a younger audience, with Kim's, Kourtney's and Khloe's faces printed on to each of the cards.

But things quickly got sticky when fans realised the huge fees that would come with owning one.

If you got one of the cards, it cost between $60 and $100 just to activate before you could use it.

Users then had to pay $8 a month to use it and if they wanted to cancel, it was another $6.

Things went from bad to worse when Mobile Resource Card sued the sisters for $75million, but the case was dismissed, according to Hollywood Reporter.

The cards only lasted a month before being scrapped.

All talk

She's credited as the mastermind behind her daughters' fame and fortunes, but Kris, 67, appears unable to work magic for herself.

In 2013, she launched her own talk show, called Kris, on Fox, starting with a six-week trial.

Despite convincing former son-in-law Kanye to appear in the final episode and revealing the first photo of Kim's daughter North West, the 'momager' was hit by claims of behind-the-scenes tensions.

Sources on the set claimed Kris was unbearable, alleging she turned up to work hungover and angry.

“We could not wait for the end of the show’s six-week trial period,” a production team member told US magazine Star.

“Working with Kris was absolutely unbearable. She would show up on set hungover and demand her beauty team to fix her up and make her look stunning.”

The show wasn't picked up for a full series and Kris hasn't been given a chance to become the next Oprah.

Book snub

You'd be forgiven for thinking the Kardashians aren't the biggest bookworms, given that Kendall once declared: "I am the worst reader".

But in a shock move, the 27-year-old, along with her little sister Kylie, 25, turned their hands to writing not one, but two novels.

In 2014 the siblings released dystopian fantasy Rebels: City of Indra, about two girls rebelling in a futuristic society, with the help of ghostwriter Maya Sloan.

They went on to release a sequel in 2020, Time of the Twins, with the help of two more ghostwriters.

Both novels have been widely panned, with one reader slamming it as “a crudely envisioned story with one dimensional characters that you don't really care about.”

Pop dream

Never short of confidence, Kim once recorded a pop single in a bid to launch a music career.

In 2011, she released Jam (Turn It Up) which donated a portion of it's profits to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The bizarre tune led to the New York Daily News branding Kim “the worst singer in the reality TV universe”.

It was similarly sniped at by Vulture, who claimed her vocal skills were “sounding as if they are emanating from a baby that is either very bored or very drugged".

Even the reality star regrets agreeing to do the track, but admirably it did sell 60,000 copies in the first month.

“It’s definitely a memory, and it was a fun experience. We gave the proceeds to a cancer organization,” Kim told Andy Cohen.

“But if there’s one thing in life that I wish I didn’t do … I don’t like it when people kind of dabble into things they shouldn’t be. And that I don’t think I should have. Like, what gave me the right to think I could be a singer? Like, I don’t have a good voice.”

Notorious K.A.R.D

Kylie and Kendall got another mark on their rap sheet when they released an ill-advised fashion range inspired by music icons.

Just months after Kendall’s widely-panned Pepsi advert, the pair debuted their collection of vintage-style T-shirts in 2017 with PacSun – which cost $125 a pop.

The range featured images of famous artists like Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls and The Doors, with Kendall + Kylie logos and photos of their faces superimposed on top.

But they hadn’t counted on the wrath of Voletta Wallace, the mother of iconic rapper Notorious BIG, who called the shirts “exploitation at its worst".

“I am not sure who told @kyliejenner and @kendalljenner that they had the right to do this,” Voletta fumed on social media.

“The disrespect of these girls to not even reach out to me or anyone connected to the estate baffles me.

“I have no idea why they feel they can exploit the deaths of 2pac and my Son Christopher to sell a T-shirt.

Kendall, who famously said her "spirit animal" was Tupac, released a statement hours later.

"These designs were not well thought out and we deeply apologise" she wrote on Twitter.

The collection was pulled a few months later.

App hazard

A decade ago, every celeb seemed to be releasing an app – and Kim was no exception.

Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, whose development was overseen by Kris, gave fans the chance to get famous and dress up in expensive garb in a ‘red carpet adventure’.

It was released in 2014 to great success, generating $200million in annual revenue, according to Bloomberg.

The following year, the sisters all got in on the action, too. Kendall, Kylie, Khloe and Kourtney launched their own subscription-based apps, which charged $3 per month for a look inside each of their lives.

Fans were bothered by how each app required a separate subscription of $3 – and how Kendall would often go a whole month without posting any new content.

To make matters worse, Kris was then hit with a $10million lawsuit by Los Angeles-based video game developer Kung Fu Factory.

The firm claimed they had prepared the original proposal years earlier, but were never paid for their work.

Kung Fu Factory claimed to have conceived how the game would work and designed the overall look – even drawing various 2D mockups of Kim, Khloe and Kourtney.

The Kardashians denied the allegations and the case was reportedly settled in February 2016.

Pure Khaos

What's the first thing you do when you hit a lucky streak in Vegas? Spend your hard-earned winnings on Kardashian tat, of course.

The family spotted a gap in the market back in December 2011 when they opened a ‘celebrity lifestyle boutique’ in Sin City, flogging everything from key chains to water bottles.

The store, called Kardashian Khaos, even allowed fans to pledge allegiance to their favourite family member with novelty shirts endorsed by Kim, Kourtney, Khloe and Kris. 

It enjoyed a glamorous red carpet opening, with all five sisters making an appearance alongside brother Rob and Kourtney's boyfriend Scott Disick.

But despite boasting a prime position within the Mirage Hotel, it appears the family didn’t quite hit the jackpot.

Kardashian Khaos closed after three years, with MailOnline reporting poor sales were to blame.

They returned to the Strip, however, in 2021 with a new resale store called Kardashian Kloset.

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