AFTER a year they’d no doubt want to forget, the Kardashian clan are back – and in a big way.
The world’s most famous reality TV family is rebuilding its lucrative brand, six months after Kim’s PR disastrous 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries ended.
The savvy 31-year-old brunette is now generating headlines for dating rap singer Kanye West,while last week, sexy new shots emerged of her wearing a tiny bikini on holiday in the Dominican Republic.
Meanwhile, older sister Kourtney, 32, is expecting her second child in July, an event guaranteed to fill countless magazines and newspapers.
And while many have criticised the future bankability of matriarch Kris Jenner and her older daughters Kim, Khloe and Kourtney, there appears to be plenty of life yet in the Kardashian brand.
In an exclusive interview with Insider, Kim says younger sisters Kendall, 16, and Kylie, 14, are forging forward and taking centre stage as the next generation of Kardashian stars.
“It has just been a natural progression,” says Kim, the most famous of the brood-of-six. They (Kylie and Kendall) are growing up, and spend their weekends and summer time filming. They are modelling and working now and loving it.”
When Kim filed for divorce last October from basketballer Humphries, critics said it could be the end of her.
But it wasn’t the case.
Ratings on all of the four Kardashian reality shows (Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Kourtney And Kim Take New York, Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami and Khloe And Lamar) are up.
And the celebrity obsessed world of magazines still can’t get enough.
Kim’s new rumoured romance with controversial singer West has done her reputation no harm.
Her 27-year-old sister, Khloe, last week told talk show host Ellen Degeneres that Kim and West “are cute together”.
“I like Kanye,” she said. “I think Kim and Kanye, they’ve known each other for a really long time and they’re good friends. They’re compatible. I think friendship is where good relationships stem from.”
Increasingly, as Kim battled public scrutiny over her divorce, mum Kris, pushed Kylie and Kendall into the fore with the pair recently appearing on an episode of hit-rating America’s Next Top Model. And they’ve ramped up their red carpet appearances.
While the family says it’s a natural progression for them to do so as the girls grow up, others says it’s a move by Jenner to ensure her family’s survival.
“They (Kylie and Kendall) are definitely younger than when we started in the business so we just make sure they stay grounded and we protect them as much as possible,” Kim says of the advice she has offered her younger half sisters.
The Australian Women’s Weekly editor Helen McCabe concedes there is still intense interest in the Kardashian family with the young women regularly on the front pages of rival magazines.
“They are a sure-fire sales success,” she says. “They are one of the few cover celebrity picture stories you can say that about in a world that has been saturated by celebrities, without exception. They are a phenomenon.”
Tim Addington, editor of B&T magazine, agrees. “Like them or loathe them, the Kardashians have a place and brands that want maximum exposure and are willing to pay top dollar are likely to continue to use them,” he says.
The figures speak for themselves (see breakout right). Kim alone has nearly 14.5 million Twitter followers and is paid huge sums to endorse products and make appearances.
Perhaps Kim’s next move will be a deal for Vegemite, lamingtons or Tim Tams as she says she loves all things Australian.
“Every trip I come I leave with the best memories but the constant memory I can’t get out of my mind is Tim Tams,” she laughs.
Addington believes Kris Jenner has worked extremely hard to ensure longevity, and financial rewards, for her children.
“Kris Jenner is very business astute,” he explains.
“She is the driving force behind the franchise. She is obviously the one that is pushing the shows as a way to make money for her, her kids and her family.”….more