Kim Kardashian West Tells Celebrity Trends the Details of Being Molded for KKW Body’s Bottle
Kim Kardashian West Tells In my second interview ever with Kim Kardashian West to talk about her KKW Body fragrance launch, I made a rookie journalist mistake. While I had seen all the images of the bottle on Instagram and read the press release about the fragrance sent by the PR company, I neglected to do a quick Google search to see what other people were saying about it. So when I asked Kim, “Where did the idea come from to use your body as the mold for the bottle? I saw it and I immediately thought of the old Jean Paul Gaultier Classique bottle,” I simply thought I was being a beauty nerd by remembering the old flacon. It was only when I started to write this piece, a whole 20 hours later, that I realized the World Wide Web had been coming after Kim for copying JPG’s design, which launched in 1993. Oops.
Kim Kardashian West Tells Kardashian West recognizes the similarities, but explains the inspiration for the body-shaped bottle came from several different places. The first of which goes all the way back to 2013 with the release of her very first fragrance, Kim Kardashian Pure Honey (which to be honest, I had to look up because I had no recollection of it launching). “There was another honey fragrance in the works at that time and I held onto images of what I wanted a campaign for that other scent to be, which were these pictures that I kind of drew of my body dipped in honey,” explains Kim. “But at the time I thought, Well, no. And we obviously ended up doing a completely different shoot for the Pure Honey fragrance.”
Kim Kardashian West Tells Her second source of inspiration for the KKW Body came from fine art sculptures. “My home has all these sculptures in it. We have these two big angels that are similar to the bottle as they’re just torsos with no heads and the legs are cut off at the thighs,” she explains. The sculptural references continue to permeate through every aspect of the launch, including the campaign images, which were shot at sculptor Vanessa Beecroft’s studio. “The bottle had already been made, but Kanye recently got me this piece from Vanessa Beecroft and I just thought, Wow, we have to go to her, so we shot the campaign images in her art gallery.” Even the way the bottle is situated in the box brings to mind the ancient Greek and Roman statues you’d see a the Met or the Louvre. “We have [the bottle] positioned where it’s on a pedestal, almost looking like it’s at a museum” Kim continues. “So it was all kind of based on sculptures.”
“I love the Jean Paul Gaultier bottle and I totally get the reference. And I knew people would say that, but I just love [my perfume bottle] so much….I thought it was just really fitting for me, personally.”
But as I mentioned, the references to JPG are not lost on Kardashian West, who — as I’ve learned from just our few brief conversations over the phone — knows her beauty products as well as any seasoned beauty editor. “I love the Jean Paul Gaultier bottle and I totally get the reference. And I knew people would say that, but I just love [my perfume bottle] so much. I really wanted to make one of my body and do the whole mold process and we also did these body scans. I thought it was just really fitting for me, personally.”
In Kardashian West’s defense, there’s actually a long history of women’s bodies being used as the inspiration for perfume bottles. In 1937, Elsa Schiaparelli launched Shocking, with a bottle shaped like actress Mae West’s hourglass figure. Schiaparelli and Gaultier’s bottles are very literal depictions of the female form, but there are many more conceptual iterations. Consider the bottle for J’Adore Dior. Created in 2000, the bottle was inspired by designer Christian Dior’s sketches of his “New Look” silhouette, which with its nipped-in waist and full skirts, highlighted and exaggerated a woman’s hourglass shape. And while never given as an explicit inspiration, two of the versions of Estée Lauder’s iconic Youth Dew bottle — one ribbed and amber-colored with a golden bow tied around the middle like a belt, one light blue with an hourglass shape — are reminiscent of the female figure. That paired with the fact that the ad campaignfeatured a “tastefully blurred profile of a nude woman” (very risqué for the 1950s), makes me seriously wonder if the bottle wasn’t in some way meant to evoke the same image.