Keeping Up with Kris Jenner
The Kardashian-Jenner momager is launch a business school. We asked for some one-on-one mentoring...
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Who wouldn’t want to learn from Kris Jenner? At 60, she’s the proud mum of six fiercely loyal and successful kids, author of two books (In the Kitchen with Kris and her memoir Kris Jenner… and All Things Kardashian), and a TV star, host and producer responsible for one of the most successful TV series of our generation. Then, in Dubai last month, she revealed her new role.
Kris Jenner is now the Chairwoman of Legacy Business School, a new kind of higher education for society’s elite. The first branch will open this September in Trump Tower, Fifth Avenue, New York (because location is everything, darlings), and the second will open in September 2017 in Dubai at a venue to be confirmed.
Students will be enthralled with on-trend subjects such as entertainment management and internet marketing, as well as classic business practices, and each pupil will automatically be enrolled with Quintessentially to ensure their lifestyles outside of studying cross paths with key influencers within their chosen industries. Kris will select the Board of Directors from her VIP network and bring in a constant stream of A-list guest lecturers to give special talks.
Basically, this sounds like celebrity college, and we want in! But perhaps the most educational lesson of all lies in how Kris, a one-time airhostess who didn’t go to college, ended up being one of the world’s most famous media moguls and the figurehead of what’s set to be one of the most prestigious schools on the planet. We sat down with the sassy sexagenarian to find out…
You didn’t go to college, choosing to pursue your earlier career as an air hostess, but you’re now one of the most successful women in the world – how did you get from cabin crew to business mogul?
I got married really young and had a baby when I was 22. By the time I was 30 I had four kids. As a mum you develop really good organisational skills and common sense, the foundations of being a really productive human being. And I think that through osmosis I learned a lot from my husband, Robert Kardashian. He was an amazing businessman and lawyer and I learned from him what it was to get up at the crack of dawn every single day and work really hard. He was so driven, but he also knew how to party and achieve the work/life balance. He also surrounded himself with all the big people in business, including all the heads of the [TV and movie] studios, and I was there for all the functions and thousands and thousands of business conversations, and I helped start a couple of businesses with him. It was only later I realised how much I’d learned. Because I was so young it was like I was in school; I have a love of learning and it was all fascinating to me.
What was the tipping point – the moment that made you decide to become the ‘momager’ you’re famous for being today?
After divorcing Robert, I married Bruce Jenner. At that time we didn’t have a lot of money, but we had to pay the bills and look after the kids, so we had to get to work. At that time Bruce had a public speaking career [based on his being an Olympic champion] that wasn’t really fully tapped into. So, I thought, OK, we’re going to focus on getting him on the road and I’ll be his manager, of sorts. I had him go out and talk at Fortune 500 companies, and write his book Finding the Champion Within, and I tied that all together.
That evolved into me, when the girls got older, looking into what they could do. I said, let’s start with what you girls love, and they loved fashion. Kourtney graduated with a degree in fashion design, Kim wanted to be a stylist and Khloé loved the whole health and beauty side. So it made perfect sense when they were old enough to set them up in business, and that business was a store called Dash.
And how did you all end up being in the world’s most famous reality TV show?
Dash then turned into a bigger business and I had the idea to do a reality show. I was introduced to Ryan Seacrest by a mutual friend, Deena Katz, who’s now the Casting Director of Dancing with the Stars, and we came up with the format of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
You and your family are social media gurus, and online marketing is part of the Legacy package – what are the keys to growing a huge social media following?
It’s fascinating that there are so many social media platforms today. When we first started doing our show, we had Twitter – at least that’s the only one where I knew which buttons to press. The way that it’s grown and the opportunities it’s given people around the world is amazing. From real estate to fashion to food – no matter what the business or the passion, it’s out there and you can find it on social media. Kim is the queen of social media and she has taught us all how to use it best. I remember when she launched her first fragrance called Kim Kardashian, and she couldn’t decide on the colour of the bottle, so she said she’d ask her fans. She posted two designs on Twitter and the feedback she got was phenomenal. I thought that was brilliant of her to engage her audience like that, and now all the other girls are the same way.
Legacy Business School will have prestigious guest lecturers hosting talks on a regular basis. Do you think you’ll be able to get your daughters to talk to students about the secrets of their success?
Yes, absolutely! Kylie in particular really wants to come to Dubai, so you better enrol now so you can get a place [laughs].
Will you be sending your grandkids to Legacy?
You know what, that would be a dream.
You’re 60. You’ve written books and launched shows, and managed your kids into successful careers in TV, fashion and beauty, and now you’re heading up a business school. Do you ever plan on retiring?
It makes me very happy to be busy working and being creative and doing different things. I’m so satisfied at night when my head hits the pillow and I feel like I’ve had a really rewarding day. It’s important for me to work really hard. I surround myself by people who are motivated, people who are driven. That’s why I think my kids have the work ethic that they have.
So what’s next?
If you love doing something, and you can get excited by it, that’s where the passion comes from. Kourtney has just opened my eyes to a whole world of home design and art, and I love learning from her. I also love to cook. If you do things you love and figure out a way to make a business out of it so that you can continue doing what you love, then you may get lucky enough to make a career out of it, and that’s fantastic.
Your quote on the opening page of the Legacy brochure reads: “We live longer and happier lives when we have a passion and a purpose.” What’s your passion and purpose?
My purpose – my legacy – will always be my kids, and what I can give to them to make their lives better. It makes me happy to be able to share with them what I’ve learned. You know me, family comes first and it