Are You Buying What Kylie Jenner Is Selling?

Kylie Jenner is 26 years old. She is a mother of two small children. She no longer wears wigs or bold makeup every day. She no longer wakes up and immediately posts on social media. “Maturity” and “sophistication” are the words guiding her branding now.

She is “stripping down a little bit,” as Ms. Jenner said at her Calabasas, Calif., office last week, her knees pulled to her chest for the duration of an hourlong interview. “I don’t have this thick mane down to my butt, I don’t have lash extensions, I don’t have these long claws.”

She held up nails like glossy red almonds. To her, those traits were markers of her youth; to others, they signaled cultural appropriation of Black women.

Perhaps you’ve noticed this evolution. Perhaps you perform weariness at any mention of the Kardashian-Jenner family. But you’re still reading this, and no one is more aware of that phenomenon — one eye watching her, the other rolling — than the family’s youngest, most enigmatic and arguably most famous, sister. Ms. Jenner has 400 million followers on Instagram. That number, which exceeds the population of the United States, may include bots, but it still surpasses each of her siblings’ followings.

Since she was a child, Ms. Jenner’s public persona has been defined by consumption. She consumes the trappings of celebrity and wealth: clothes and cars, private jets and cosmetic procedures. Then we consume her: the media she shares, the celebrity gossip she generates and, critically to the family business, the products she sells.

On Tuesday, she announced Sprinter, a line of canned vodka soda. On Thursday, she released Cosmic, her first fragrance under Kylie Cosmetics, a company that she co-founded at age 18 and that was valued at $1.2 billion in 2019. She is also continuing to release clothing through her new brand Khy, offering “high fashion pieces for less,” she said.

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