In 2012, New York put Kim Kardashian on the cover of its fashion issue and asked, “What will the fashion world do with Kim Kardashian?”
At the time, she was a bit of an outlier. She came from “louche roots,” as writer Benjamin Wallace put it. She was famous for being the most famous member of reality TV’s royal family. Her “fashion” experience consisted mainly of her consumer-friendly clothing chain, Dash, and her then-new boyfriend, Kanye West. She was curvy, sexy, and at the time, unabashedly unpretentious in her choice of bandage dresses, fuck-me heels, and generous eye makeup. (But still beautiful, let’s face it.)
She was “real” fashion, but high fashion wanted nothing to do with her. In only two years, (due in part to her relationship with Kanye, another fashion-world outlier), Kim has swapped her club-girl gear for couture and gone from the girl who couldn’t get into the Met Ball (under strict orders from Anna herself, allegedly) to a fashion darling in her own right (more so than her future husband, it must be said). She made appearances at Paris Fashion Week. She arrived at the Met Ball pregnant and clothed in Givenchy, then named Riccardo Tisci as her child’s godstylist. And now she’s landed a Vogue cover, wearing a Lanvin wedding gown.
Whether you like it or not (and you didn’t like this suggestion in 2012 either, folks), the question of what the fashion world is going to do with a girl like Kim Kardashian has been answered: make her an icon.