Many would argue that it is not the best way to start your career as a successful entrepreneur to become a reality TV star after your name becomes well-known due to your appearance on a sex tape. But few of us would contest that Kim Kardashian has successfully adapted all of those factors to her needs and business ambition. The Kardashians star was added to Forbes’ billionaires’ list in April 2021 due to her numerous business ventures, but now a Harvard professor is being forced to defend the university’s decision to host her speech despite the uproar.
For some context, the SKIMS founder spoke at Harvard Business School in late January for a brief course on direct-to-consumer (DTC) enterprises similar to her SKIMS brand. She tweeted about her speech following it, which drew much criticism (but many fans supported the initiative, as well). Scarlett Johansson, a former Avengers star, had spoken at Harvard Business School on the same day about her skincare company, Outset, although little outside attention was paid to her presentation. About asking Kardashian to lecture, Professor Leonard Schlesinger spoke candidly to Poets & Quants and stated:
Many of our students will be interested in becoming entrepreneurs in this field. How do you know what you two must do to make things happen if students need to do business with a celebrity? As they evaluate how it fits them, it is crucial for our students to be able to compare and differentiate between those two companies and business tactics. Given that [Kardashian] has 350 million followers, the problem is that almost all conventional DTC are vying for that natural asset.
Schlesinger claims that the DTC business strategy began to gain traction around ten years ago. While these enterprises are simple to conceptualize and launch, expanding them is challenging. He pointed out that one of the factors enabling the founder of SKKN BY KIM to keep her businesses expanding every year is her enormous following and social media influence. He added that celebrities in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) space have different insights to give individuals in the corporate environment, primarily due to their captivating methods towards how they engage with the general populace (i.e., potential consumers).
In all honesty, you can anticipate what a majority of the Twitter responses regarding Kanye West’s ex-wife’s speech at Harvard Business School. Broad discussions about how we celebrate the accomplishments of individuals born into financial success and luxury and began with resources that we do not have are becoming more and more prevalent. Such comments have already been aimed at Kardashian and other family members, notably when Forbes called Kylie Jenner a “self-made billionaire” following recent nepo baby speculation targeting Kim and North West.
Kim participated in the presentation by her SKIMS co-founder Jens Grede, according to sources. Len Schlesinger and Ayelet, Israeli of Harvard University, together with executive associate Matt Higgins, taught a course called “Moving Beyond Direct-to-Consumer” that the two individuals selected for their initiatives. Kim was shown on video striding through the business school corridor while being encircled by a film team. The video will reportedly be utilized for a plot on The Kardashians on Hulu, according to People. Kim trailed around the school by a sizable gathering of students, spectators, journalists, and film crews.
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