by Janelle Okwodu– Vogue
When Kris Jenner speaks, the world listens. The doyenne of the Kardashian family has made her children household names and commands an army of fans who follow her every move on social media and television. After running multiple companies, launching the careers of world’s most famous family, and becoming a celebrity in her own right, Jenner knows a thing or two about living your best life and during her Forces of Fashion panel she shared her tips on how to succeed in business, family, and everything in between. In a candid conversation with Vogue.com creative director Sally Singer, Jenner shared her thoughts on what it takes to build an empire and why chic women over 50 are the new influencers.
Lesson 1: You Better Wake Up Early
“I get up really early every morning at about 4 or 5, I don’t sleep a lot so I’m trying to get a lot done early morning. I plan everything, make sure everything is fine all the way [while] I’m on the treadmill, I drink lots of coffee to get me going. I plan my day while Europe is up, get in most of my phone calls while New York is up and by the time L.A. wakes up I’m ready to go.”
Lesson 2: Assess the skills of your team.
“I think that what I’ve learned over the years is how to find that balance and [know] what each one of my kids is capable of. One thing that I couldn’t have all the greatest ideas in the world if I didn’t have kids with an amazing work ethic and creativity. My job is affected by the fact that they’re so engaged everyday. It’s really great and so that makes the biggest difference at all.”
Lesson 3: Listen to Ryan Seacrest.
“When we first started filming our show in 2006, I remember getting a phone call from my partner Ryan Seacrest telling me to check out Twitter and show Kim because she’s going to know what to do with this. I went ok and she she really led the way for the rest of us with social media. I think one of the things that was impressive was that year she decided to do her first fragrance which was Kim Kardashian and I remember her posting on twitter a picture of the bottle and she said to me ‘I’m going to see what they want to buy, do you want the black bottle with the trim or the baby pink.” In that one action she got such amazing feedback and that was such an interesting thing for us. I thought she was asking the air but she taught the rest of us.”
Lesson 4: And your kids too.
“With Kim and Kylie and the beauty brands I’m really involved on the business side. When they get into their creative mode with the contouring shades and what the next collection of Kylie’s lip line is they really have absolute control. Anything I say will probably be overrided. [Kylie will] say ‘mom you don’t understand green lipstick’ and I’ll be like ‘no I don’t.’ I think that instinctually they’ve always landed on their feet so they know what they’re doing and I try to stay out of that.”
Lesson 5: Keep your fans—and yourself—engaged.
“With all the kids their number one focus when they enter the creative process is: what will the fans love, what will my followers be interest in? They get an extreme amount of satisfaction and excitement from the process. Kylie said to me the other day ‘I can’t wait to share my Halloween collection’ they still have that spark.’”
Lesson 6: Use your platform.
“We have such a big responsibility and such a loud voice. I think that what I focused on over the last few years was helping each one of my kids find what they want to speak about. So if it’s Kendall and African [charities] about water or Kylie and Kendall focusing on the Watts community center in our own backyard and building this amazing facility. Habitat for Humanity and Kylie getting involved the Smile Train for kids with cleft palates—hundreds of kids have benefited thanks to her love for that organization. Kim and prison reform, Kourtney and homelessness epsecially in our own backyard. Each one of them has focused on something that they’re really passionate about and I’m really proud of that.
The girls really do a lot to try and help with the organizations and foundations that each of them support. I think they really appreciate the responsibility that comes with having the loudest voice.”
Lesson 7: Embrace your personal style, no matter your age.
“Menopause is a bitch! Let me just start with that! I would love to do something [in fashion] in the near future I really am thinking about it. I think it’s important for women my age to realize that I get all my inspiration from my mom who’s 84 and Mary Jo is a dream. She will never walk out of the house not done from head to toe. She taught me to always put my best foot forward and always look your best. In her generation that’s what women did, in the ’50s everyone dressed like Jackie O. it was so fabulous. I just want to pass that down to women everywhere and remind them that we’re here because fashion is exciting and it’s expression and fun, but I think that it makes you feel better. If you look better and doll yourself up a little bit it helps. I have a better day if I’m trying to feel my best from the inside out.”