Happy birthday, Kim Kardashian West! The iconic reality star turns 40 on Oct. 21, 2020. In honor of the milestone, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at the star's biggest career moments. Keep reading to relive them all…
Well before her E! reality show debuted in 2007, Kim Kardashian West (far right) was already business-minded. She started selling things on eBay back in high school — shoes in particular. She told Variety that she sold Manolo Blahniks on the e-commerce site, purchasing them for $700 with a loan from her dad and selling them for $2,500 a pair. "I became so obsessed with seeing that return, I would sell off the things I wouldn't be wearing," she told the outlet.
Back in 2006, Kim Kardashian West, Khloe Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian opened their very first store. The clothing boutique — which they named DASH — was first based in Calabasas, California, and eventually expanded to numerous cities including Miami and New York City before they shut down the stores in 2018.
Time for TV! On the heels of onetime BFF Paris Hilton's reality show "The Simple Life," Kim Kardashian West landed a series of her own that also features the lives of her siblings and their momager, Kris Jenner. After premiering on E! on Oct. 14, 2007, the show became a smash hit thanks to the interesting family dynamics. In 2020, Kim and her clan announced that season 20, which will air in early 2021, would be their last. When reflecting on the show, Kim told Variety she had no idea it would become such a phenomenon, explaining, "I thought it would be great press. I didn't think it would turn into what it turned into."
Kim Kardashian West made her big-screen debut in 2008 with a small role as Lisa in the flick "Disaster Movie." Though acting wouldn't be a major part of her career, she would go on to appear on the TV show "Beyond the Break" in 2009 and pop up on "30 Rock" and "Drop Dead Diva" in 2012.
2008 also saw Kim Kardashian West try her hand at another type of reality show — "Dancing with the Stars"! She was paired with Mark Ballas on the show's seventh season and was the third contestant to be eliminated.
At one point, Kim Kardashian West ventured into the workout business. In April 2009, she released DVDs called "Fit in Your Jeans by Friday," which included a workout plan alongside trainers Jennifer Galardi and Patrick Goudeau.
In December 2009, Kim Kardashian West made her first foray into the world of celebrity fragrances. She released "Kim Kardashian" that month, a self-titled scent that was available at Sephora.
Getting into the fast food game! Yep, Kim Kardashian West helped shill food for Carl's Jr. beginning in 2010 when she appeared in commercials eating salads. Fun fact: She was actually supposed to eat a burger, but the company's CEO, Andy Puzder, later revealed to Gossip Cop that she was eating "low-carb" and "couldn't eat the burger on the bun" at the time.
Did you know Kim Kardashian West briefly tried to be a pop singer? It's true! In March 2011, the reality star released a single, "Jam (Turn It Up)," which featured background vocals from The Dream. A few years later while stopping by "Watch What Happens Live," Kim claimed it was one of her biggest career regrets. But it wasn't all bad — she donated half of the proceeds to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
In 2013, Kim Kardashian West returned returned to the big screen with a role in Tyler Perry's "Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor." Five years later, Kim appeared as herself in 2018's "Ocean's 8."
For her very first Met Gala appearance in 2013, Kim Kardashian West not only became a meme but made some serious headlines. The reality star donned this floral Riccardo Tisci gown that showed off her baby bump when she was pregnant with her first child, daughter North West. The appearance signified that she was taken seriously by the fashion community — especially considering rumors had previously swirled that the event's co-chair, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, didn't want her to attend in years past.
From the Met Gala to Vogue! Any rumors about Kim Kardashian West not being a fashion darling subsided the next year when Kim, soon-to-be husband Kanye West and then-10-month-old daughter North West appeared on the April 2014 cover of American Vogue. The issue dove into their then-upcoming May 2014 wedding in Italy.
In 2014, Kim Kardashian West appeared on two different TV shows. She did an episode of "2 Broke Girls," seen here, and lent her voice to an episode of "American Dad!"
Breaking the internet! Yep, in November 2014, Kim Kardashian West appeared on the cover of Paper magazine, and the unique shoot caused quite a stir thanks to her lack of clothes on one version and an image of Kim balancing a glass of champagne on her behind in the other. The funky photos seriously got people talking and became an internet phenomenon.
If you had to guess what type of book Kim Kardashian West would release, a book of selfies definitely felt on-brand. In May 2015, Kim gave the world the book "Selfish," which became a New York Times bestseller.
Time for emojis! Kim Kardashian West released her Kimoji app in December 2015 — and in the process crashed the Apple Store. The app included a pack of emojis with her likeness for iOS devices and instantly became a bestseller. She gave birth to her second child, son Saint West, the same month.
2014 saw Kim Kardashian West release the mobile game "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood." Though the move felt random — the game let players try to become a Hollywood star — it ended up earning $1.6 million within the first five days of its release.
In 2016, Kim Kardashian West appeared on the cover of Forbes thanks largely to the $45 million she made off of her smartphone game, "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood," as well as her app venture with Kimojis. A year later, she was a keynote speaker at the Forbes Women's Summit.
KKW Beauty was born in June 2017. Kim Kardashian West's successful beauty line, which was released after a few failed efforts, started with a contour kit that retailed for $48. It earned her a reported $13 million in sales as it sold out in just minutes. She soon expanded into other related areas including body makeup, foundation and eye makeup.
In November 2017, Kim Kardashian West added KKW Fragrance to the mix. The line's first perfumes — a trio of Crystal Gardenia scents — reportedly earned $10 million in their first day alone. Kim used her social media savvy to leverage her huge number of followers to buy product in lieu of spending money on traditional advertising.
Kim Kardashian West transitioned her focus to prison reform in 2018 as she worked to help free prisoner Alice Marie Johnson. After discovering that Alice was a first-time nonviolent drug offender serving a life sentence, Kim got in contact with friend Ivanka Trump to talk to President Donald Trump about commuting her sentence, and Alice was soon released from prison.
In 2018, Business Insider revealed exactly how much it cost for a Kim Kardashian West Instagram post — $720,000. That insane number is what brands paid Kim to post about their products thanks to the number of eyeballs on her content.
Vogue and… a new career path! Kim Kardashian West scored her first solo American Vogue cover in 2019. In the issue, Kim announced that she was studying to become a lawyer. "I just felt like I wanted to be able to fight for people who have paid their dues to society," she explained.
Kim Kardashian West launched a new venture in 2019 — shapewear. The line, which was originally called Kimono (the name was changed after she faced backlash and accusations of cultural appropriation) was rebranded as SKIMS before its launch that September. Kim reportedly earned $2 million in just minutes as it went on sale. It has since expanded from just shapewear to undergarments, loungewear and accessories.
In April 2020, Kim Kardashian West's TV special, "Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project," debuted on Oxygen. The documentary series chronicles how Kim learned about Alice Marie Johnson's case and shows her talking to inmates and hearing their stories of how they ended up behind bars. Kim has in recent years worked to free multiple incarcerated people as she continues to work on prison reform.