Allison Statter is an intensely private person.
Yes, she might be the lifelong best friend of one of the most famous people in the world, Kim Kardashian West (in their lingo, her “BFFAE”), and yes, she also might be the daughter of arguably the most powerful person in the music industry, Irving Azoff (founder of Azoff Music Management), but you wouldn’t know anything about that unless you are an eagle-eyed viewer of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, or somehow caught wind of her maiden name. She’s content to stay behind the scenes and out of the spotlight—in fact, it’s where she thrives.
Statter lives a low-key life in Beverly Hills with her husband, Rich Statter, and their three sons. Her "normal" suburban existence somewhat ends there: Not to be outdone by two of the her closest loved ones, she too is a CEO, leading Blended Strategy Group, a Los Angeles-based celebrity and influencer marketing, public relations, and branding agency she cofounded with Sherry Jhawar, formerly of eos Products, in 2015. Five years in, the company has worked with brands like Revlon, Tiffany & Co., and Reebok, and business is booming. “We’ve made it to five years and we’ve managed to grow a business I’m really proud of,” she says.
Statter refers to herself humbly as a “college dropout.” She left school after her sophomore year to work for her father’s company, where she stayed for 17 years, climbing the rungs from pseudo-secretary (she answered phones) to talent manager, eventually working directly with performers like Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani. It was in that role that she developed the chops for PR and marketing—and, comfort around mega-stardom.
“I’ve been in the business for so long and I’ve seen its evolution,” she says. “I’ve been around since the days where we needed to hire a global pop star for millions and millions of dollars to leverage them for our marketing, to the emergence of bloggers to influencers, and now to many different forms of influencers. I feel really lucky I have had the education in real time and to have seen this whole evolution of how marketing works with influence at the center of it.”
But, in 2015 at age 35 and after almost two decades at her father’s company, Statter felt stunted—that, despite the security of working for a hugely successful family business, she needed to challenge herself and chart her own course independent from her father’s legacy. “That was the scariest decision, but also one that, if I wanted to garner respect and credibility as a businesswoman, I had to do it,” Statter says. “And I’m so happy I did.”
When Statter met Jhawar, she knew she’d found the right cofounder; the two launched a company that meshed Statter’s background in talent management with Jhawar’s history in branding. That combination led to the to the name Blended Strategy Group: the meeting of an expert in one area with an expert in another to reconfigure both the celebrity talent and influencer space and service clients in a unique way.
“Allison and I really are a yin-yang duo that knows each other’s strengths and when to pass the baton and leverage the other person more,” Jhawar says. “Partnership is not always easy and I will admit, there have been tough times along the way, but we have so much respect for each other and we built this business based on that ‘blend’ of our knowledge base and prior experiences, so we allow each other the space to do what we each do best.”
It would have been easy for Statter to call upon her childhood bestie Kim to help her formally launch her company. But she preferred to let Blended’s work speak for itself. Even so, simply by virtue of being in Kardashian West’s life, Statter ended up in the background in scenes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and on KKW’s website and app as a part of her “Inner Circle” series. The reality star even said on the app, “I know I always say ‘my BFF,’ and I definitely have lots of them, but Allison and I go way, way back.”
Statter’s real emergence into the public eye didn’t start until September 2019, when she appeared in a campaign for Skims, Kardashian West’s shapewear line. This past August, the two collaborated on KKW x Allison for KKW Beauty, a makeup collection featuring products with names that reflect their 40-year friendship–like the BFFAE eyeshadow palette. (Their moms and dads were family friends before they were even born.) The move came after Statter finally created a public Instagram account in April (she maintains a private account, as well).
But don’t mistake Statter’s suddenly more front-facing profile as a publicity ploy. “It’s so funny to me,” Statter says. “People ask me ‘How did [Kardashian West] get you to do that? I’m like ‘What do you mean? She’s my best friend.’ If she asks me to do something, there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for her. I didn’t make the decision to do that Skims video or the [makeup] collab to become public-facing. I did that because she’s my best friend and she asked me to do it, and I wanted to do it for her. And she would do the same for me.”
Statter still turns down most of the press offers thrown her way, wishing to have more than a modicum of privacy. “I realize that the collaboration has definitely exposed me in a different way than I’ve been exposed before, and I’m embracing it,” she says. “I don’t need the fame or the public persona to be what drives me. That, to me, is not what drives me.”
What does drive Statter is continuing to grow the business she’s proud of, and to use her microphone for good. In the far distant future, when she retires from Blended, she wants to use her third act to give back. She says she knows how lucky she is to live the life she does. “If I can help other people, whether that’s from a philanthropic standpoint, a business standpoint, or a personal standpoint, if I have the ability to do that in a way that I’m comfortable with, then I will,” Statter says. She sits on the board of HFC, a non-profit that supports families impacted by Alzheimer's, and regularly works with organizations such as This is About Humanity and Baby2Baby, both of which serve underprivileged families and children.
Though undeniably successful, Statter doesn’t consider herself a person of influence because, with her inner circle including who it does, “my barometer [of success] is really fucked up,” she says. But she does feel as though, finally, at 40, she is coming into her own. The world has seen her, but they definitely haven’t seen the last of her.
“Does it feel different to be 40? You know what, it does,” Statter says. “People take me seriously now. People are just finally seeing me–literally just finally seeing me. I feel like I’m just getting started.”
This piece has been updated.
Stay In The Know
Marie Claire email subscribers get intel on fashion and beauty trends, hot-off-the-press celebrity news, and more. Sign up here.
Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.
Before Fame, Fortune, and Two Academy Awards, Hilary Swank and Her Mother Slept in a Car As She Chased Stardom
“Despite the challenges, I feel nostalgia for those days, when we had nothing.”
By Rachel Burchfield
Meghan Markle’s Cousin Says She Was “Really Mature for Her Age” and “Looked After Everyone” When She Was a Little Girl
He said she “had a star quality about her” even then.
By Rachel Burchfield
For a Vibe Reset, Wear Fringe This Spring
This movement-friendly detail can change an entire look.
By Emma Childs
Peloton’s Selena Samuela on Turning Tragedy Into Strength
Before becoming a powerhouse cycling instructor, Selena Samuela was an immigrant trying to adjust to new environments and new versions of herself.
By Emily Tisch Sussman
This Mutual Fund Firm Is Helping to Create a More Sustainable Future
Amy Domini and her firm, Domini Impact Investments LLC, are inspiring a greater and greener world—one investor at a time.
Power Players Build on Success
"The New Normal" left some brands stronger than ever. We asked then what lies ahead.
By Maria Ricapito
Don't Stress! You Can Get in Good Shape Money-wise
Yes, maybe you eat paleo and have mastered crow pose, but do you practice financial wellness?
By Sallie Krawcheck
The Book Club Revolution
Lots of women are voracious readers. Other women are capitalizing on that.
By Lily Herman
The Future of Women and Work
The pandemic has completely upended how we do our jobs. This is Marie Claire's guide to navigating your career in a COVID-19 world.
By Megan DiTrolio
Black-Owned Coworking Spaces Are Providing a Safe Haven for POC
For people of color, many of whom prefer to WFH, inclusive coworking spaces don't just offer a place to work—they cultivate community.
By Megan DiTrolio
Where Did All My Work Friends Go?
The pandemic has forced our work friendships to evolve. Will they ever be the same?
By Rachel Epstein