Long before KKW Beauty or Kylie Cosmetics, there was the Kardashian Beauty makeup line. Now, nearly a decade after its launch and following a five-year legal fight, sisters Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian are receiving the full amount they claim to be owed for the company.
On July 6, a California State Court of Appeals judge ruled that the Kardashians rightly owed $ 11.5 million in royalties from Haven Beauty and its subsidiary Hillair Capital, the licensors of the beauty product line, as well as $ 2 million in interest and post-judgment charges on appeal.
Launched in 2012, the makeup line, initially dubbed Khroma Beauty, was a licensing partnership with Boldface Licensing + Branding, a company that was later bought by investment firm Hillair Capital. Sold in drugstores and big box chains, the brand offered a number of products, including false eyelashes, hair irons and shampoos. As part of the five-year deal, the Kardashians, then most famous for their reality show, would receive a $ 1 million advance, along with royalties, for licensing the Kardashian name and their images. and similarity to the products.
But in 2016, as the deal came to an end and the relationship with Hillair deteriorated, the three sisters had yet to receive the millions in royalties owed to them, according to the court record. The legal back-and-forth began, with Hillair alleging the Kardashians had failed to properly promote the brand. In 2018, a judge sided with the Kardashians for the first time, and another judge upheld the ruling earlier this week.
The $ 13.5 million price tag is a small change from the $ 1 billion Kardashian machine, and more specifically the value of Kim Kardashian West and Kylie Jenner’s new beauty brands. These second beauty stabs became much more lucrative for the Kardashian-Jenners, in part because the sisters had owned all of their businesses from the start, rather than just collecting royalties. This model paid off when beauty conglomerate Coty bought a 51% stake in Kylie Cosmetics for $ 600 million in 2019 and a 20% stake in KKW Beauty for $ 200 million in January 2021.
But these recent beauty deals have also resulted in legal drama. Last summer, Seed Beauty, the maker of Kylie Cosmetics and KKW Beauty, sued Coty and the two beauty brands, alleging there had been an inappropriate sharing of trade secrets and hoping to prevent a new hijacking of trade secrets. (According to Coty’s latest quarterly report, a request from the company to go to arbitration is still pending.) Earlier this month, while the lawsuits are still pending, Jenner and Kardashian West both have announced that they would relaunch their brands with a new manufacturer. Jenner said all Kylie Cosmetics products will be made from vegan and “clean” formulas that are paraben and gluten free, while Kardashian West has said the new KKW Beauty will be “a whole new brand with new formulas.”