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Exclusive Interview with SKIMS founder Kim Kardashian West
SKIMS, the shapewear line created by Kim Kardashian West, has officially landed at Nordstrom. Read our exclusive interview with the business mogul on turning a passion project into another empire, her must-have pieces and the celebs she's been most excited to see loving it.
By Tessa Trudeau
It's what we've all been waiting for. The brainchild of Kim Kardashian West, a line of innovative and strategically designed shapewear, debuted—and immediately sold out—back in September, breaking the internet in the process (the launch had to be pushed back by an hour when the SKIMS site crashed due to overwhelming traffic). Today the brand is available at Nordstrom.
The idea for SKIMS came from Kardashian West's own struggle to find shapewear that fit her well and comfortably. "Having that perfect first layer gives me the confidence to wear outfits that I might not wear otherwise," she says, "and freedom to experiment and try new things is what makes fashion so much fun."
Here is Kardashian West on her decade-long dream come to life, the products she can't live without and how she's designed shapewear for every body.
Congrats on the launch! What was the inspiration for SKIMS?
Thank you so much! I have always loved wearing shapewear but realized there was a lack of options when I couldn't find anything that really worked for me. Pieces were either too thick, too loose, too tight, didn't have the right support or just didn't mold to my body the way I wanted them to. I began to experiment on my own by constructing pieces made from other garments and I would cut a leg or even dye fabric to get the right shade. SKIMS has really been in the making for over a decade.
What has your own experience been with underwear or shapewear over the years?
Underwear and shapewear are something that I've been experimenting with my whole life. I've always loved using shapewear to enhance my figure. I became the "go-to" for my friends and family when they needed advice on how to create a certain shape or when they had a tricky outfit and didn't know what underwear would work underneath. As I started to get more interested in fashion and wearing really intricate, unique pieces, my need for the right shapewear and underwear solutions grew, which ultimately led to SKIMS.
What does well-fitting underwear mean to you personally and how does it make you feel?
Any great outfit starts with what's underneath. If I don't feel comfortable in my underwear or if it doesn't fit properly, I am not going to feel good in it, no matter how I look from the outside.
What makes SKIMS different from other shapewear brands?
The inspiration for SKIMS started with finding solutions for dressing issues as opposed to "fixing" or changing a woman's natural shape and figure. I wanted shapewear that would allow me to wear amazing fashion pieces comfortably—whether it be a super high slit, low back or plunging neckline. I also wanted SKIMS to feel accessible for all women, so from the beginning I wanted at least nine shades and an extended size range.
What has been the most rewarding part of building this line?
I love designing and coming up with new ideas based on my own style and dressing needs as well as the feedback I get from friends, family and fans. That process has been such an amazing discovery for me, since I have always been on the other side of fittings. Seeing a specific piece through, from start to finish, based on my vision has been incredible. The most rewarding part, though, has been the feedback I've gotten from customers. Having a woman tell me that SKIMS is the first shapewear she has found that actually matches her skin tone, or comes in a size that fits and feels comfortable, is the entire reason I started SKIMS and am so excited to see it expand and reach new customers.
Who have you been most excited to see wearing and loving the line?
My favorite posts to see on social media are from fans who tag SKIMS when their order arrives or when they first try it on. It was amazing to see Ashley Graham in the Sculpting Bra, especially as she was wearing it as a comfortable option during her pregnancy. Zoey Deutch wore the SKIMS Body Tape at the Golden Globes under her stunning plunging jumpsuit, which I loved, because that type of neckline is exactly why I created Body Tape. And Chelsea Handler having fun in SKIMS on the beach!
What are your favorite SKIMS products and how do you personally wear each?
My go-to shapewear piece is the Sculpting Short. I wear it under everything, especially tight dresses and skirts, where I want super smooth lines. The Sculpting Bodysuit is also an essential and I'll wear this as a top with a blazer or leather jacket. I don't mind when my shapewear peeks out and depending on the outfit, I actually prefer it, so I'll let the bras show under a blazer or sheer top. Shapewear doesn't have to be hidden or a secret.
How do you want women to feel while wearing SKIMS?
The most important thing for me is that she feels like the brand sees her and offers shapewear and underwear that will work for her, from the shade to the size to the fit. When she puts on her SKIMS, I want her to feel comfortable, but also beautiful.
What is your number one goal or dream for SKIMS?
My goal for SKIMS is to continue to expand and find new ways to create innovative solutions with our shapewear that work for all women. I want women to turn to SKIMS for all of their dressing needs and be able to find an option that really works for them, from shapewear to day-to-day underwear and cozy lounge pieces that become a staple in their wardrobe.