Kourtney Kardashian has always had an eye for design. After spotting a yet-to-be-released haute couture creation in a fashion magazine, the burgeoning entrepreneur opted to make the gown herself instead of waiting patiently for its release. Not much has changed for the now 35-year-old: she’s still dreaming big and she’s still designing, though prefers enlisting the efforts of sisters Kim and Khloé Kardashian to doing it alone. In addition to their popular collections of clothing, perfumes and a best-selling book, the gorgeous trifecta have embarked on something near and dear to their hearts: children’s clothing design. Kourtney sat down with Haute Living to discuss her new Kardashian Kids collections for Babies “R” Us, what it’s really like working with her sisters, and the one thing she one day just might decide to branch out on alone.
Haute Living: How hands-on are you with creating your collections?
Kourtney Kardashian: My sisters and I are very hands-on with our collections. I am really passionate about kids’ clothes. My grandmother had a kids’ clothing store for over 30 years, and my sisters and I used to go to visit her, hang out at her store, spend time folding the clothes and just helping her. My mom and I opened a kids clothing store called Smooch [but it was] my grandmother [who] taught me how to do the buying and where to go. Fashion has always been in our lives, and having this kids collection is a dream come true. We have design meetings where all three of us are there and we have our little process working out what we love. We have our different roles. With the kids collection, I had the idea and came to my sisters; Kim wasn’t even pregnant yet. I definitely took charge for the first collection, because they didn’t really know much about how the clothes would function or have an opinion on kids clothes…but now Kim is definitely involved. We all do everything, but we all send inspiration separately. Khloe tends to have more notes as far as fit is concerned. Kim has an opinion on photo shoots and which photographers we should work with and what our hair and makeup should like; she really takes charge. I really look to them to help in those areas though; they’re both really amazing.
Haute Living: Is designing something that always interested you? If so, when did you realize you loved it?
Kourtney Kardashian: Designing was always something I was interested in. I studied fashion design in high school as well as how to sew. My parents got me a sewing machine for Christmas during my senior year of high school. I made three pieces of clothing and had a fashion show at the end of the year, where we had to wear the clothes that we made. I took it to a whole new level; I made all my friends clothes. I’d buy the patterns and fabrics and make clothes for them and myself. I remember one Christmas Eve specifically: I was looking at a fashion magazine and I said, ‘I need a dress for spring.’ It was December and [the dress] hadn’t come out yet, so I found a fabric just like it and I made it that day though I didn’t have a pattern. It was cute and I actually wore it. It wasn’t perfect; I did it really quickly so the edges weren’t perfectly finished. It was lavender and sleeveless and ruffled and short – it was mini and cute. I guess maybe in hindsight it wasn’t so cute!
Haute Living: You’ve collaborated on many collections with your sisters, but are there plans to branch off and do something entirely on your own?
Kourtney Kardashian: I don’t think it would be as enjoyable. I really love working with my sisters, doing photo shoots with my sisters and appearances all together. I think it really makes it worthwhile being able to do these things with them; it makes everything more fun. [However] one of my passions that I don’t really share with them is interior design. I go on blogs and buy interior design magazines and I really love it.
Haute Living: Is it easy or hard to work on all these collections with your sisters? What are your strengths and weaknesses as a group? What are your individual strengths and how do they translate into the final products?
Kourtney Kardashian: We’ve gotten to a place where it’s really easy to work together, especially because in the beginning I would always battle with them. Kim and Khloe have a more similar style; I like different shapes. Social media rally helps us with our collections, because we listen to comments and see what people are asking for. We work together well. We have a ‘two rule’: as long as two of us really like something, it’s a go. 95 percent of the time, we all three agree. If one of us wants to push for something, we’re open to what the other has to stay. We respect each other’s fashion sense. We do have our moments though.
Haute Living: Can you describe your style? What are your favorite brands?
Kourtney Kardashian: It’s eclectic. I like to be a little bit quirky, a little bit off. Besides the Kardashian collection, we carry some really amazing Australian designers at our Dash store, like a brand called Cameo. I really like that it; it fits my body well. I also like Saint Laurent.
Haute Living: You’ve said that Mason is very specific about his style. What does he like? Does he take after you or Scott?
Kourtney Kardashian: We both give input in what he wears, but in general we let him choose what he likes. We actually went shopping [recently] and I let him pick out everything that he wanted. He’s definitely opinionated now. I know he really just wants comfortable clothes. When they’re younger, you dress them however they want, and as they get older, they don’t want to wear stiff pants. There’s a fine line trying to find something that’s comfortable but stylish.
Haute Living: Will [partner Scott Disick] or [Kim’s fiancé Kanye West] help with your upcoming boys line? Does Mason tell you what he’d like to wear, thus creating ideas for the line?
Kourtney Kardashian: We just started to work on [the boys collection]; it’s just girls at the moment. I was inspired by the way that I dressed my daughter [Penelope] when I designed the line. I thought, ‘What are the must-haves?’ I was also thinking about the quality of the fabric—I’m really annoying about that. I have to touch everything and make sure everything is really soft. The guys don’t help out: it’s just the three of us. I definitely will take into consideration the comfort and the fabrics [when creating the boys collection]. I’ve definitely learned a lot. Having my grandma’s store and having my own store has taught me so much, but the biggest thing that has really given me the most knowledge is definitely being a mom and just seeing what’s out there. I have to know what I’m looking for and what’s really practical and how quickly kids grow out of things.
Haute Living: You and Scott recently purchased Keyshawn Johnson’s former home. How do you plan on redecorating?
Kourtney Kardashian: I’m definitely going a different direction than I went last time. I really got a lot out of my system; [my last home was] over the top with colorful stripes and prints and wallpaper everywhere. I went crazy with the lighting and had a lot of fun. Now I want simple. I want a little more casual and comfortable, but still chic. I want a totally different vibe. I haven’t gotten too far into it; I’m just starting. I bought one piece of furniture so far; my kitchen table, and I just found it shopping at a store called Luca on La Cienega.
Haute Living: Do you consider yourself a powerful businesswoman? Why or why not?
Kourtney Kardashian: I never sit around and analyze myself like that. I definitely am a businesswoman. I have several companies. I pride myself on them; I love to work. It’s such a balance. My life is being a mom and trying to fit everything in, from having our Dash stores to doing our different lines.
Haute Living: What is the best business advice you’ve ever been give and by whom?
Kourtney Kardashian: My biggest influence has been my mom, just watching her as a businesswoman growing up. She works so hard, but she’s always having fun and it’s always enjoyable for her. We’ve all been able to find our passion and turn that into work, and that’s something I learned from my mom. It’s the best way for me to possibly be.