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London - Depending on who you speak to, she’s either the poster girl for “almost everything that is wrong with Western society” or “the hottest woman in the world”.
She also has a £22-million personal fortune, rapper Kanye West for a boyfriend and arguably the most famous bottom on the planet.
Describing herself as the “ambassador to Britain for curvy women”, 32-year-old Kim Kardashian swept into London on Wednesday to launch her clothing line at Dorothy Perkins.
She has designed the range, called the Kardashian Kollection, with her sisters Kourtney, 33, and 28-year-old Khloe. Available in sizes eight to 16, it features more than 100 spangled, sequinned, figure-hugging pieces.
All three women star in Keeping Up With The Kardashians, the fly-on-the-wall show which has made them one of America’s biggest brands.
Only Kourtney accompanied Kim to London, where they are staying at the Dorchester Hotel. The three sisters, who own several clothing and lifestyle stores in the US, will be reunited on Saturday, when they are due to meet fans at the Westfield shopping centre in West London.
This being “Planet K”, an entourage of 47 flunkies including security guards and make-up artists were on hand at the Dorchester to ensure all went smoothly. Journalists were granted eight-minute slots of the sisters’ time in a function room at the hotel.
Perched on a sofa in front of a life-sized cardboard cut-out of herself, Kim said: “Back home we had our own clothing stores which were quite high-end.
“With this range our goal is affordable luxury clothing because everyone is under pressure financially.
“We embrace our body shape and body type and want to make clothes for women who have a more realistic body. We are like a brand for our fans – we see what our fans are asking us for from our blogs and Facebook and Twitter.
“That gives us the ability to communicate so directly and we see they are really loving the brand and the line being made for curvy girls.”
Kim was once known for little more than being the socialite daughter of Robert Kardashian, a lawyer on OJ Simpson’s defence team – until an ex-boyfriend leaked a sex tape they had made in 2007.
It hit the headlines, and prompted her incredible rise to fame. The family’s reality show is now in its seventh season, and their overall wealth is estimated at $1billion.
At a teachers’ conference earlier this year, leading headmistress Dr Helen Wright condemned Kim as the poster girl for “almost everything that is wrong with Western society”.
Lads’ magazine Zoo calls her the world’s “hottest woman”.
There’s no doubt about it, the Kardashians are a phenomenon. When Kim, Kourtney and Khloe’s ‘Kollection’ (can you see what they did there?) launches in Dorothy Perkins, it will fly off the shelves.
Not because the clothing is groundbreaking in terms of fit, or because it’s particularly well made – or even original.
No, the appeal here is strictly the girls themselves. Whatever you think of them, with their big hair, immaculate make-up and Hollywood lifestyles, the Kardashians are icons to millions of women in their teens and 20s.
What shoppers want from the ‘Kardashian Kollection’ is for some of their ‘X Factor’ to rub off on them.
But can the clothes deliver? Perhaps. Featuring bodycon dresses, clutch bags, pencil skirts, and lots of frills, lace and mesh, it is sexy – in a tight and tacky way.
But on the positive side, it comes in sizes eight to 16, and the most expensive item – the floral print lace-look trench coat – is £75 (about R900); fairly reasonable for a “celebrity designed” jacket.
The sisters were “focused on fit”, according to a spokesman for Dorothy Perkins: “Kim is curvy, Kourtney is petite and Khloe is tall, so they understand real women’s bodies.”
But, of course, there are some real howlers to be found. The azure blue top with lace décolletage (£32) is unremittingly awful and has an awkward cap sleeve that will make even the slimmest of arms look sausage-like.
Likewise the satin trimmed shorts (£30). The slim and slinky Kourtney could carry these off poolside in her Hollywood mansion, but they’re not going to look as glamorous on a pair of chubby cold-mottled legs outside a kebab shop in Solihull on a Saturday night. Daily Mail