Do not underestimate the aspirational fashion power of Kylie Jenner.
Not only does the youngest Jenner have the top-selling Kardashian-Jenner app this month, but according to one designer, she is a more influential sales driver than top fashion publications Vogue, Elle and InStyle.
Jenner's dress that launched a thousand clicks was originally worn on Aug. 6. The "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" reality star and entrepreneur was photographed in a blue-and-black plaid Houghton shirtdress while leaving her sister Kim Kardashian's West Hollywood-area book signing. The outfit, which originally retailed for $1,475 USD, was part of the designer's spring 2015 collection and was not available for sale at retail outlets or online at the time Jenner was wearing it. However, this did not stop fashion websites from trying to recreate her casual street style look.
In an interview with Cosmopolitan.com, Houghton designer Katharine Polk said she quickly noticed this demand for her look and rushed to get a replica design back into production even though the Italian wool she used was now discontinued.
"Why should other people make money off of my dress?" said Polk, to Cosmopolitan.com.
Using a less expensive New York-sourced fabric, Polk and her team created 25 other versions of Jenner's dress. Now available at a lower rate of $450 USD each, the dresses sold out within a week, as a result of being featured on Jenner fashion fan sites or Instagram accounts.
Despite having other designs featured in Vogue, InStyle, or Elle magazine, Jenner's accidental endorsement of this Houghton shirtdress gave the independent label its fastest-selling garment in its three-and-a-half year history.
Coincidentally, Jenner's mother, Kris Jenner, shares the same maiden name as the brand: Houghton.
But none of this success was planned. In the aforementioned interview, Polk reveals the dress was originally loaned for Jenner's older sister Kendall Jenner to wear, but says she's "super grateful" for this happy accident.
Jenner also shared three photos of herself in Polk's design on her Instagram page, with the caption "Ms.SoFly."
Even WIRED magazine recognizes the power of the 18-year-old Jenner. Earlier this week, the tech-focused publication ran a headline about Jenner's creative savvy that read, "Like It or Not, Kylie Jenner is the Celebrity of the Future."
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