The youngest member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan recently came out with a new clothing line under the name of ‘khy’ towards the end of October. However, for Kylie Jenner, this is far from a venture into unfamiliar territory, especially given the prior success of her makeup and skincare brands Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin. Following the lead of her older sisters Khloé and Kim, who own and design for Good American and SKIMS respectively, khy will then be Jenner’s first mature contribution to fashion since 2012, when she collaborated with her sister Kendall on a clothing line for American brand PacSun.
According to the website, khy hopes to pioneer the modern wardrobe with pieces and collections ‘that seamlessly blends luxury with everyday style’ and promises to achieve this through versatility of style. This statement is also transparent about the creative process, declaring that the collections for khy will be curated in collaboration with ‘iconic brands and global designers’. For the inaugural drop, Jenner collaborates with Namilia, the brainchild of Berlin-based Nan Li and Emilia Pfohl with a reputation for embracing the provocative. Though a relatively young brand, having been founded in 2015, Namilia has featured in NYFW for five collections, and have gone viral online for their most recent SS24 show titled ‘In Loving Memory of My Sugar Daddy’. Here, Li and Pfohl sought to reclaim the cliché of the gold digger stereotype in a subversive act of celebrating women who take advantage of their hyperfemininity to achieve their ends and make the most of a society that perpetually objectifies them. The designs are equally as controversial as the ethos behind them; characterised by trashy slogans, outrageously-low waistlines, religious imagery, Birkin tops and PU leather, Namilia has a clear desire to stand out.
Such is the style of khy’s first collaborator. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Kylie Jenner’s first collection consists mainly of ‘faux leather + base layers’ as described by the brand on their Instagram page. The overall look of the drop might not have derived sole influence from Namilia, however – Jenner’s recent campaign for Acne Studios FW23 anticipates the businesswoman’s interest in grungier, edgier looks, even if this description fails to encapsulate her personal style in its entirety. That being said, when considering the subversive nature of these two established fashion houses, khy’s collection is extremely watered down.
Its capsule collection consists of three dresses made from PU leather in a bodycon silhouette, standard base layers that you could buy from SKIMS if you were obsessed with adding to Kardashian profits, amidst some oversized Matrix-esque jackets and trousers. Perhaps Jenner’s aim was to play it safe with her launch, and it does seem to be working, with certain sizes having sold out only a week after they were put on sale. The prices are not as awful as expected for a celebrity brand, either. I would personally refuse to spend £20, let alone £51 on a nylon baby tee, but it honestly could be worse. Furthermore, Jenner is a billionaire working with an established brand, so the choice of fabrics used in her non vegan leather pieces is rather disappointing. Though I appreciate that the collection is small, nylon and spandex are not biodegradable, and she can definitely afford to source better materials ethically. That being said, I presume Jenner’s concern with designs would have been to achieve a sleek, form-fitting look, which would be attained easier with the composition of materials used in these pieces.
After the rise of celebrity makeup brands a few years ago, more and more are turning to fashion to expand their empires. I look forward to seeing what Kylie’s successive launches will hold, but the launch of khy is lacklustre at best. Indeed, she knows what styles are in, and the design team have a clear impression of how to capitalise on this. However, she could have collaborated with a high street designer or brand to get a similar look. Considering Namilia’s reputation and the plethora of connections that Kylie Jenner has to a diverse set designers and stylists, she could have definitely offered more.