How Did Kim Kardashian Actually Get Famous? A Timeline of Her Career

There's more to it than just the sex tape.

How did Kim Kardashian actually get famous? A timeline of her career
Kim KardashianGetty Images

Let's do a magic trick. You think of a celebrity, and we'll guess who it is.


It's Kim Kardashian, isn't it? You're thinking about Kim Kardashian. And no, it's not just because you landed on this page (ahem), but rather because she's managed to infiltrate every aspect of pop culture as we know it. Here's how.

June 1994 - The family name leaks into public consciousness when Robert Kardashian defends O.J. Simpson over the double murders of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Kim is only 14 years old at the time.

October 2004 - Age 24, Kim begins her career as a fashion stylist to the stars, starting as R&B singer Brandy's personal shopper, before quickly being hired by the likes of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton.

June 2006 - Kim lands her first role in front of the camera with a cameo Beyond The Break, a scripted drama around four women trying to make it as professional surfers.

June 2006 - Kim features in a number of episodes of Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie's The Simple Life, and is filmed either tidying their closets or hanging around in their mansions.

July 2006 - The Kardashian sisters - that's Kim (26), Khloe (23) and Kourtney (29) - open their first luxury clothing store D-A-S-H in Calabasas, California, which sells clothes, accessories and lingerie from a variety of labels.

"I'm Brandy’s stylist. I’m opening up a store called D-A-S-H with my two sisters. I go to my clients’ homes and I help them clean out their closets and we take whatever they don’t want and I sell it for them on eBay,” Kim Kardashian told E! at the time.

February 2007 - A home sex tape of Ray J and Kim Kardashian leaks online, via TMZ. Porn company Vivid Entertainment buy the rights and release it as a 41-minute home movie, called "Kim Kardashian, Superstar". Kardashian initially sues to prevent it from being released, but ultimately settled the suit for a reported $5million.

October 2007 - Keeping Up With The Kardashians airs on E! for the first time. In the first ever episode, Bruce and Kris Jenner celebrate their wedding anniversary, Kylie Jenner plays on the stripper pole Kim gave them as a gift, and Kourtney has relationship drama.

December 2007 - Age 27, Kim poses nude for Playboy. In the interview, she says, "Of course you're nervous and want more time to work out. But I'm proud to show people who I am, You always see the typical skinny models and I'm not that and I'm proud not to be that."

March 2008 - KUWTK was such a success, season two returns less than six months later. It's renewed again for series 3 a year later.

April 2009 - Kim releases a 3-DVD workout plan, Fit In Your Jeans By Friday - Amazing Abs Body Sculpt.

May 2009 - The Kardashian sisters open their second D-A-S-H shop in Miami Beach, Florida, and Kourtney and Kim Take Miami airs on E! to chronicle the shop launch.

January 2010 - Kim stars as Summa Eve in film Deep In The Valley.

April 2010 - Khloe, Kim and Kourtney unveil their own fake-tan brand, 'Kardashian Glamour Tan'.

October 2010 - Her first perfume, aptly titled 'Kim Kardashian' is released. The tagline reads, "Step into the limelight and discover captivating beauty, magnetic allure and enticing femininity. Experience glamour with Kim Kardashian: the voluptuous new scent."

Late 2010 - Her first waxwork in New York's Madame Tassauds is unveiled.

Getty Images

January 2011 - Kourtney and Kim Take New York airs, and follows the sisters moving to NYC to open their third D-A-S-H store.

March 2011 - Kim, now 31, releases her first (and last) music video for single, 'Jam (Turn It Up)', with half the proceeds from the song benefitting St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.

April 2011 - Kim launches her second fragrance, 'Gold'.

August 2011 - Kim releases another fragrance, 'Kim Kardashian Love': a limited edition fragrance to celebrate her second marriage to Kris Humphries. 1000 bottles were produced; including one for her wedding day and 20 for her bridal shower. The rest were sold.

February 2012 - Kim joins Instagram, which admittedly may not directly be a move in her career, but it definitely helped to raise her profile and popularity level.

View this post on Instagram

My first instagram pic... Kisses for instagram!

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

July 2012 - Kim releases her fourth fragrance, 'True Reflection'.

November 2012 - Kardashian and her sisters launched the 'Kardashian Kollection' - a collection of clothes with Lipsy - as well as launching a line of cosmetics, 'Khroma Beauty'.

June 2013 - During season eight of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, the show has its 100th episode.

June 2014 - Kim launches her iPhone and Android video game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, which takes off immediately and makes roughly $1.6 million in its first five days of release. Glu Mobile report it as the fifth highest earning game in Apple's App Store.

Late 2014 - Kim poses naked on the cover of Paper Magazine in a bid to break the internet.

May 2015 - Kim releases her book, 'Selfish', which contains 325 selfies of her face, and went on to be a New York Times Bestseller.

December 2015 - Please welcome to the stage 'Kimojis' - Kim's very own emoji pack for iOS. The paid-for app quickly became a top earner for Apple, reported as one of the top 5 most bought apps that week.

May 2017 - Kim announces a clothing line alongside husband Kanye West, 'TheKidsSupply'. She tweeted at the time, "For the past few years Kanye and I have made almost all of our kids clothes and we have collaborated on a new kids line!"

June 2017 - 'KKW Beauty' is born. Kim launches her first line of beauty products with a contour kit and brush set, available in three colours, before later announcing a powder contour and highlighting palette.

Kim slaying the career game.

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