Jenner, 21, now claims the spot over Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who was 23 when he took the title. Jenner ascended to the throne so quickly thanks in part to a partnership between her cosmetics brand, Kylie Cosmetics, and mega-makeup retailer Ulta, which now carries the reality star's products.
“I didn’t expect anything. I did not foresee the future,” Jenner said. “But [the recognition] feels really good. That’s a nice pat on the back.”
Forbes originally reported in July 2018 that Jenner was on-track to become the youngest self-made billionaire ever, sharing at the time that her net worth was around $900 million and that her company was worth around $800 million. Now, Kylie Cosmetics is estimated to be worth around $900 million, with Jenner herself earning the status of billionaire thanks to Kylie Cosmetics, her role on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, endorsement deals and more.
People initially weren't thrilled about the fact that Forbes referred to Jenner as self-made, a criticism the 21-year-old addressed during a recent interview with Paper magazine when she said that her parents, Kris Jenner and Caitlyn Jenner, "cut her off at the age of 15."
"My parents told me I needed to make my own money, it's time to learn how to save and spend your own money, stuff like that," she said. "What I'm trying to say is I did have a platform, but none of my money is inherited."
Jenner founded Kylie Cosmetics in 2015 using money she had earned from modeling, and the company now utilizes seven full-time and five part-time employees. Manufacturing and packaging is outsourced, and Jenner promotes every launch on her social media accounts, which have over 175 million followers between them.
“It’s the power of social media,” Jenner explained of her brand's success. “I had such a strong reach before I was able to start anything.”
The makeup mogul's partnership with Ulta was a natural fit, enabling younger shoppers who may not have access to a credit card the chance to purchase her products, as well as customers who prefer to see a product in person before making a purchase.
“She did well online, but there’s only so far that that can take her,” Shannon Coyne, an equity research analyst at BMO Capital Markets, said of Jenner. “She probably realized: ‘If I want to get big, I’ve got to scale, and to do that, I need a partner.’ Ultimately, she wants to grow her brand, and she needs this store presence to do that.”
Since launching with Jenner's famous Lip Kits, Kylie Cosmetics has expanded into eyeshadow, blush, concealer, highlighter and more, with the brand most recently debuting setting powder.0comments
“I see [Kylie Cosmetics] going very far,” Jenner said. “I work really hard.”
Photo Credit: Getty / Gilbert Carrasquillo