After years of being body-shamed in the tabloids, Khloé Kardashian is getting back at her haters. No, not with a Twitter rant—with a body-positive denim label. “I was fat-shamed so much,” she says. “I love that people are into real women now, and I want to keep breaking barriers in the body revolution with this brand.”
Though the line, called Good American, will evolve into a range of ready-to-wear, it’s launching with the thing Kardashian struggled with most: denim. “Emma and I”—that would be Emma Grede, a former fashion marketer and now Kardashian’s business partner, thanks to a setup by Kris Jenner—“were just done forcing ourselves to squeeze into jeans because they were trendy,” Kardashian says. So, as they created their first collection, they wanted to guarantee one thing: All their jeans would come in sizes 0 to 24 (a big deal, since most brands go up to 12 only). “They also fit over our own butts!” Grede says.
Bottom line: “The Good American woman does not apologize for herself,” says Grede. Or as Kardashian puts it, “It’s OK to be whatever size you are, and our jeans are going to fit you.” Finally. Let’s hear more!
Glamour: Why launch Good American now?
Khloe Kardashian: I wore body-con dresses at my biggest, but one thing I could never wear in my size was denim. I wanted the jeans that all my sisters wore, but boutiques didn’t go up to size 10, so trying their jeans on made me feel like shit. I was always embarrassed about that, which is so messed up. I love that I am doing something about it now.
Glamour: What were your other frustrations with jeans, and how have you worked to fix them?
KK: Kim [Kardashian West] and I buy denim and have to tailor the waistband because we have bigger butts and smaller waists. Emma said the same thing, even though we have different body shapes, so we fixed gaping with a waistband that cinches in right above the butt.
Emma Grede: We also spent a long time working on the size range, because you can’t just take a denim pattern and scale it up to make it work for a fuller figure.
Glamour: Why do you think most designers don’t do those things?
KK: I think that some brands don’t want a larger, curvy woman wearing their brand.
EG: And because of the outdated sample system. The sample-size norm is a 2, which means models have to be that size to wear the clothes, and celebrities have to be that size if they want to borrow a dress for an awards show. Changing that is about investment, time, resources, and development. We are going to have samples in a full range of sizes so the pieces can be shot on a size 18 or 0.
Glamour: How are you each personally connected to the body positive message of the brand?
EG: I’ve been working in the fashion industry for years, and I think the unattainable body expectation for women is just outdated. It doesn’t match up with the curvy female figure we see and admire in our culture—the one that Khloe and her sisters had a huge part in [popularizing].
KK: We want to keep breaking barriers in the body revolution. I love that everyone is now into women that are fuller; that the Ashley Grahams of the world are now considered gorgeous. People called me plus-size when I was an 8 or a 10.
Glamour: When the jeans hit the shelves—and your closets—what exactly are you going to wear them with?
KK: I love boots no matter what kind they are. Right now, I am thigh high boots girl so I love ones that like go over denim. I feel like sexy and a little more edgy with them on. Specifically, I love skinny, suede ones but they won’t go over my denim.
Glamour: You can wear the baggy Yeezy Season 4 samples you’ve worn around Los Angeles?
KK: Trust me, I tried to steal the sample and Kanye already took them back. He was told me I have to wait until they are in stores!
EG: I want that clear Kanye heels—I’m trying to steal them from Khloe’s suitcase.
Glamour: Speaking of family, which sister’s feedback are you most looking forward to?
KK: Kylie [Jenner] loved it and said she was proud; she likes the message because she knows my past body struggles. But I think Kim is the most honest. Her feedback will be great because she and I wear and love the same denim brands—Frame, Topshop, and Citizens [of Humanity]—and we have the same wants and needs from denim.
EG: We could not have a better tester.
— Lauren Chan