Kim Kardashian – Looking through the pictures of outfits worn over the decade by Kim Kardashian West, who turns 40 today, one thing remains consistent: how confident she is even in the most questionable.
Almost every look exudes exaggerated drama and sex appeal, from her beginnings as a stylist and assistant to Paris Hilton to her most recent appearances on the red carpet before Covid-19 hit. Then there is the hair – straight like poker, always straight, often long – and the preference for tight silhouettes, one figure-hugging dress at a time.
Despite these recurring traits, Kardashian West’s style has transformed over the past two decades. Since her first reality TV appearances in the early 2000s, she has gone from mundane to sartorial flair, with her sense of fashion evolving from a “more is better” approach to a refined aesthetic that has made her an icon outside of the ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians” universe.
There is no denying that Kim Kardashian West, the cover star of Vogue Arabia for September 2019, has a significant impact on fashion. While today her choices are often sleek and inspiring these days, her journey towards achieving the polished, insta-worthy look has been challenging along the way.
When Kardashian West first made a name for herself – as a designer and friend of Paris Hilton – her style involved figure-hugging bodycon dresses. In the 2000s, IT bags and oversized gold hoops were her favorite accessories in the 1990s. A decade later, the beauty mogul has become a sartorial pioneer with a fearless approach to fashion. Her daring style is imitated all over the world. Whether she’s wearing an up-and-coming streetwear label or a relic of a vintage design, the KKW Effect has the power to create a new craze or a recent controversy – it gets people talking anyway.
“I think Kim Kardashian’s evolution in style is worth mentioning,” says Egyptian fashion stylist Yasmine Eissa, “[Kim is a] perfect reference for how fashion can be a great marketing and PR tool. She started by wearing high-end party dresses, which were all wearable and could be sourced. She later transformed her style into a bold, unique look. We now see her in second-skin silhouettes, mesh and plastic fabrics, exotic leathers, and many pastel and nude colors. She opts for cutouts, transparent pieces, the latest catwalk looks, and custom made outfits. Her style is controversial, but it makes her the woman everyone wants to copy.”
In the early years of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the reality TV star made casual appearances on the red carpet in high boots. This was followed by a series of wrap dresses and platform wedges before moving on to designer dresses by Givenchy, Balmain, and Azzedine Alaïa.
Kardashian West was spotted # 1 during fashion week, forming close friendships with some of the industry’s biggest names, including Riccardo Tisci, Olivier Rousteing, and Valentino Garavani.
As Kardashian West’s style evolved, we’ve come to appreciate her elevated approach to athleticism, monochromatic dressing in earthy tones, and exciting play of proportions – often an over-the-top fur coat with a waist-pinching bodysuit.
For years, Kim has gathered inspiration from her designer-husband Kanye West and adopted a sober, street-inspired aesthetic. She has always had a penchant for bodycon silhouettes that have become her signature style over the years.
In 2019, she launched her lounge and shapewear line, Skims, which is suitable for a wide variety of body types and skin tones. She applies the same minimalist aesthetic she has embraced in her daily wardrobe to the entire range, including bodysuits, high-waisted shorts, underwear, and more.
Kardashian West may have just popped out of a giant cake in translucent bikini and pants ahead of her 40th birthday celebrations approached, but she has, in her way.