Kim Kardashian West may be one of the most recognizable people in the world, but on Tuesday at the Bel-Air Hotel, the real thing was hard to spot. And for good reason: Her likeness was displayed throughout a spacious suite, from the disembodied replicas of her head, with long hair flowing to one side, to the large screen showing the reality-TV star among a sea of models wearing masks of her face—her campaign video for her collaboration with the Berlin-based eyewear label Carolina Lemke, the reason we’ve gotten together on a weekday. Of course, there were also Kardashian West doppelgänger influencers wandering around the room, posing with sunglasses from the collection she created and is promoting. When Kardashian West finally does emerge, though, in a pair of purple snakeskin pants and a matching purple blazer, she is unmistakable—even when shielded by a pair of boxy black sunglasses from her collaboration.
Kardashian West has worked on many collaborations and campaigns throughout her career, but this is one of the few for which she’s fully taken the creative reins—and it shows. In the press images, Kardashian West appears in a black bra and black tights, which is an outfit that would look incomplete on mostly anyone else, but that probably won’t stop others from imitating it. Likewise, the sunglasses might not work as well on all of America—they range from oversize and neon to teeny and Neo-like—but that’s sort of the point. Kardashian West approaches style these days in a way that makes sense first to her, and then to the rest of the world.
It’s almost miraculous that Kardashian West had time to execute this new collection, given the million other projects she currently has her hands in. Her secret? She lives an exceedingly organized life, she tells me, one that is mapped out to the minute. Her closet is just as micromanaged, from the aughts section (yes, she still has her Hervé Leger dresses) to the fact that every item is numbered and tracked via an app, which she tells me about along with how much hard work actually goes into being her. “I’m the most organized person ever,” she says. Before there was the celebrity of Marie Kondo, there was Kim Kardashian West. Here, the multi-hyphenate talks her new collection, her closet organization, and more.
What was it about this opportunity that drew you in, and how is it different from other collaborations you’ve done in the past?
Well, I’ve never done anything in the sunglasses department, and I really loved that Carolina Lemke was a new brand coming over [to the United States] so there were no preconceived ideas about who the customer would be. Also, I loved the fact that they let me have creative control over everything from the design of all the sunglasses—the lenses and materials and shapes—to picking photographers and coming up with the idea to have all of the hair on one side coming down. Literally every last detail they let me control, and I thought that was really different and exciting.
How did the idea to do masks of your face come to you?
We did a full body scan. At first it was full mannequins made of my body cut off at the waist. I posted a photo of it. For the head, I had to do the scan three or four times because my hair was always in the way. So we pulled it back to get the exact shape of everything. Then the girls in the campaign wore masks as clones. So we decided to produce those same exact masks for press boxes. Three of them together was such a fun idea. People are really loving that.
Do you have any desire to design a luxury clothing line?
I don’t think so. I really don’t. I see what hard work goes into it at my husband [Kanye West]’s office, and I love that he does that. But it’s such hard work. I love having him dress me and keeping it in that realm.
Do you feel like it’s often taken for granted that you’re such a hard worker? What do you think “the secret” behind all of your success is?
It’s hard work. I don’t think people really get it. They’ll say, “How is something so successful?” It’s just grinding. You really do have to micromanage everyone. When you’re involved, you have to be so aware—even with something like the press boxes, which is such a huge part of the business—especially if it’s direct to consumer. There’s no easy way to do it. You have to say, “Fuck all of this. It’s work time.” You have to put in all of the work.
If you looked at my schedule and my day to day, it’s so micromanaged to the minute where if one of my kids is off or breakfast time is off by five minutes, then school is off and everything is thrown off. Maybe that’s too meticulous, sometimes, but it’s my work.
Your closet is so pristinely organized. How often do you purge clothes, and where do all of your old clothes go?
All of my old clothes go into a storage facility that’s temperature controlled, and I have different sections, like one for all my Met Gala dresses. Each thing is in a garment bag with a photo of me at the event. I try to keep the shoes with the look as often as possible, especially in my wedding section. I have my wedding shoes and my dress on one rack. Then there’s my Hervé Leger section from back in the day—maybe not the looks with the shoes, but I have all the dresses. Pretty much everything I’ve worn to an event is there. When I did the ad campaign for Balmain, Olivier Rousteing gave me one of everything, so I have a whole Balmain section. Sometimes I’ll take a mix of things that I love to see in my closet—even last year’s Versace dress that I wore to the Met I’ll keep in my closet because I love seeing it. Depending on what’s in, like, say, neon, I’ll pull everything like that from the storage and put in my closet. If it’s starting to fade, then I’ll put it all in storage.
Visually, I want my closet to look not so full. First I had everything, and then I couldn’t sift through everything. So I have a process of editing. I have this app that has everything photographed and everything has a number so I can say, “Hey, this item was pulled.” As we take things out, I log it out or log it back in.
Yeah, I’m the most organized person ever.
What about the older items you don’t put in storage? What would you say is the most sentimental thing in your closet?
Probably some of my dad’s shirts. I have a lot of things. I love wearing his socks. I still have socks of his. But I took the shirts of his and had them cut down and made into a size that fits my son [Saint West]. It’s cool when I see him wear his stuff, like his Tommy Bahama shirts. They’re very vacation-y and fun, so those for sure.