You can call Kim Kardashian West many things: beauty and shapewear mogul, prison reform activist, law student, reality T.V. icon, mom, famous for not having a singular, traditional talent. Her real job description, however, is actually much more straightforward than the multi-pronged nature of her day-to-day work. In short, Kardashian West is an influencer. In fact, she is the godmother of all influencers, the woman who created the blueprint armed with confidence and an iPhone. As Vogue Senior Fashion News Writer Emily Farra wrote this week, “moving product and driving sales have become an influencer’s most valuable skills.” They are the new retailers, she wrote, and to be sure, it was Kardashian West who did it first. She certainly influences sales in fashion and beauty, but before she does that, she sets the trends for her 190 million followers.

Kardashian West has been responsible for crafting viral fashion moments over the last decade, including embracing bike shorts as the new basics and sexy thong heels sometimes rendered in plastic, shiny latex, and neon. Before launching Skims, she popularized the idea of high-low sweatpants by styling joggers and hoodies with stilettos, bodysuits, and Birkin bags. Kardashian West also convinced millions to let go of their giant shield sunglasses and try on teeny tiny shades—she even collaborated with designer Carolina Lemke on a line of her own last year. And recently, she’s introduced a new audience to precious vintage designer clothing too, whether it’s a Jean Paul Gaultier look from the ’90s, a Versace chainmail number, or a Mugler bandage-style archive piece. And no, Kardashian West probably was not the first to wear any of these, but armed with 190 million followers, she can turn a styling trick into a trend, and a trend into a staple.

What Kardashian West does best is move the needle. Her impact on the fashion industry, as much as some industry insiders would not love to admit, has been monumental. Whether she is selling us something or showing us how to wear something in a way we never expected, Kardashian West influences, but she also inspires. 

In honor of her 40th birthday, here are 6 fashion trends that Kardashian West turned into viral moments.      

Bike Shorts 

Photo: Shutterstock

Mugler compression biker shorts

Adidas R.Y.V. logo shorts

Latex

Photo: Splash News

Thong Heels 

Photo: Shutterstock

Sigerson Morrison Kaliska sandals

High-Low Sweats 

Photo: Splash News

T by Alexander Wang sweatpants

$185$182

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE

Neon

Photo: Shutterstock

Jacquemus Valerie midi skirt

Bodysuits

Photo: Getty Images

Alix NYC Carder turtleneck bodysuit

Petar Petrov Tiwa bodysuit

 



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