Kim Kardashian covers Vogue Australia February 2015 in Balmain

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Kim Kardashian is the cover star of Vogue Australia February 2015 issue, photographed by Gilles Bensimon and styled by Christine Centenera (wearing Balmain SS15).

Balmain SS15 Fashion Show opening look

Balmain SS15 Fashion Show opening look

Here’s what the 23 million followers on Instagram reality star turned style icon had to share with the mag:

“I always wanted to be famous,” Kim Kardashian West told me. And famous she is. She’s one of the most searched people on Google, with as many Instagram followers (23 million and counting) as there are Australians. She is polarising. She is regularly the victim of cyber bullying. She is a serious fashion fan. She is also awfully nice. I have written previously in this letter that Vogue features women who we are inspired by or fascinated with. Kim’s fame is a modern phenomenon, and I find that fascinating.

Fame is usually a by-product of what a person really does. But for Kim fame is what she does. It’s the end game, it is her commodity and that bothers a lot of people, presumably because they believe there are those more worthy of our attention, or that she is not. Yet even the haters continue to fill column inches, blogs and Facebook feeds with opinions about her.

Kim didn’t grow up wanting to be anything other than famous. She told me that, when she was 12, she and her best friend discussed what they might do when they grew up. Her friend’s wish was to be a Hollywood agent, and today she is. Kim wanted to be famous, and in a world in which stars can be born on reality TV and through social media or online notoriety, she was able to realise her childhood dream and become famous for simply being famous – and she is unapologetic about it. She isn’t arrogant, nor does she complain about the public scrutiny fame brings. In fact, of all the famous people I have met, Kim is the most comfortable with it. You don’t see her having public meltdowns. She isn’t abusing substances. She is disciplined, sober and professional at work and there are no diva antics on set. She’s an open book, as you will read in “All about the girl”, from page 108. She can’t set foot outside a hotel or her house without being photographed, and her moves are documented online with hourly updates. And that’s just the way she likes it. Our cover was shot on what was meant to be a deserted beach a few hours’ drive south of Sydney. We sent a decoy car out from the hotel first to trick the waiting paparazzi, but the team still got snapped. Images still appeared online. Word spread through the community and the locals came to catch a glimpse of Kim.

“I will not bite the hand that feeds me,” she told me, and so despite some of the terribly hurtful and horrible things that have been said about her, she doesn’t. Thanks to social media, we are all in the media business nowadays and have an audience we can preach and complain to, and a lot of people complain about Kim and some will complain about this cover. She says she only worries about her daughter North reading those things about her one day. Although unattainable for most of us, there is no doubt Kim’s much-publicised body offers an alternative ideal of the feminine physique at a time when skinny models and actors are lauded. But her willingness to bare that body also provokes her critics. I think Kim Kardashian is both overtly and covertly an extraordinary marketer. She has made a small fortune selling “brand Kim”, which says more about all of us and the times and societies we are living in than it does about her. She has turned living famously into a job. And that is fascinating.

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