The Kardashians Made $65 Million Last Year and You Didn't

Endorsements, fragrance deals, bestselling books, reality shows, licensing agreements and even one ill-fated credit card. Here's how the Kardashians entered a tax bracket you can only dream of.

By Gina Serpe Feb 17, 2011 4:12 PMTags
Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian Odom, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for PCA Kourtney KardashianFrazer Harrison/Getty Images for PCA

It's OK. You can admit it. Even the most die-hard Kardashian fan has thought it once or twice (usually just before they're totally pulled to the dark side by setting up a season pass for Kourtney & Kim Take New York).

Why is this family famous again? The simple answer, judging from their staggering net worth, is because you won't stop buying their stuff.

But matriarch and superstar-maker Kris Jenner has a more thoughtful answer for you. And after she delivers it, you better believe she's laughing all the way to the bank.

"We're just this big family with a lot of drama and a lot of issues, and there's someone here for everyone to relate to," the 55-year-old mama told the Hollywood Reporter.

"I think if you've ever been embarrassed by your family—like your mother's a kook or your father's too strict—the show gives you hope. I've had so many people come over to me and say, 'I remember the episode where you were crying over blah, blah, blah and it helped me so much and I got through my dad's death because of you.'"

But the clan hasn't only vastly outlived their estimated 15 minutes of fame (Keeping Up With the Kardashians is entering its sixth season, having debuted in 2007, and is one of four Kardashian-spawned series on E!, thankyouverymuch), they've also been killing it with their ever-increasing endorsement deals (ill-fated credit card aside), which, per the Hollywood Reporter, have helped them outearn the likes of Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock and, well, just about any other global superstar you can think of.

So just how much have they earned? $65 million. And that was just last year. We'll give you a minute.

So here's what everyone wants to know—momager extraordinaire aside, how did they do it?

Well, we've certainly helped things.

"These shows are a 30-minute commercial," Khloé Kardashian Odom told the trade mag. We'll try not to take that personally.

But one look at the biggest deals they've made so far don't do much to disprove her theory. So, grab a pen. Here's how you bank $65 million in a year:

Kim Kardashian charges up to $25,000 to mention a brand or business in one of her tweets.

• Khloé and Kim's continued shilling of Quick Trim (they've been pitching it since 2009, when Khloé lost 25 pounds on the product) has resulted in $45 million in sales of the diet pill.

• Buffered by their E! reality shows, the girls have opened outposts of their Dash clothing boutique in Miami and New York.

• Earlier this year, Silly Bandz introduced the Kardashian Glam Pack, featuring the girls' silhouettes, lips and stilettos.

• Kim and Kris are both spokeswomen for Skechers' Shape-ups campaign, and Kim recently featured in nearly too-hot-for-TV Super Bowl ad.

• Kim commands $100,000 to $250,000 to make a personal appearance at events around the country; she can command up to $1 million once she whips out the passport and goes international.

• They stage photos. Shocking, right? But Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick turned a recent afternoon of lounging poolside in Cancun into a $7,500 windfall.

• Magazines: a cover story, photo op and interview nets the girls an estimated six figures a pop—Kourtney's pregnancy earned her $300,000 from Life & Style, while Khloé's wedding to Los Angeles Laker Lamar Odom earned just under $300,000 from OK!.

• Fragrance deals: Kim Kardashian's eponymous fragrance was Sephora's best seller last year, and there are already plans to move it into other stores. Unbreakable by Khloé and Lamar, the unisex fragrance, debuted this week.

• Their Kardashian Konfidential book became an instant bestseller.

• The girls will unveil a Kardashian lifestyle collection to be sold exclusively at Sears this summer, and will have their own in-store shops in the department store. It's reportedly their most lucrative deal to date.

• After the birth of her son Mason, Kourtney signed on as the spokeswoman for Belly Bandit, a postpartum stomach cincher.

• Kardashian Khaos, opening later this year, will be the first "celebrity destination" store at the Mirage in Las Vegas, in which fans can find every product currently endorsed by a Kardashian. More items will be rolled out specifically for the store when it opens this year, including beach towels. More over, the hotel's room keys will feature the girls' images, and the minibars will be stocked with Karadashian-branded water (yes, it's coming) and Kim's fragrance. The girls will also appear on a dozen new slot machines scheduled to be placed in the casino.

So have they ever said no to anything? Well, yes: sex toys for Khloé and Lamar.

"The company wanted to know why I was turning them down," Kris said. "I said, 'It's just not the look we're going for at this moment, but thank you.' They said, 'It's not hardcore, just vibrating panties, nipple rings and vibrators.' I was like, 'Hell to the no!' "

So what's next?

"My fantasy is to have Keeping Up With the Kardashians, season 26. Who knew it would be this profitable? I should have more kids.

"We definitely worry about overexposure. We never want to get to a place where people are thinking, 'Enough is enough.' "

As long as those people are your accountants, we don't think that day will ever come.