The once university drop-out is now both Co-Founder, alongside Khloe Kardashian, and CEO of inclusive denim brand Good American (founded 2016), plus she’s a Founding Partner of Kim Kardashian’s viral shapewear brand SKIMS.
Emma Grede on the secret to successful celebrity brands…
‘Not all famous people can sell stuff.
‘A lot of it is about authenticity and alignment. When you have a brand that has a set of beliefs and a purpose, you can’t just stick that together with somebody that can’t authentically back up that message. And I don’t mean someone who can speak that message, because anyone can learn lines, it’s really about your history and how people perceive you.
She is the first Black female entrepreneur to be a guest Shark on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” success is cemented in her ability to learn new concepts and then use this knowledge to create change.
The London-born-and-bred Grede has long had a love for fashion. She studied fashion business at the London College of Fashion, but dropped out to get real-life experience through fashion internships. Now, she’s running multi-million-dollar fashion businesses.
Grede’s passion for fashion and partnering with celebrities led her to help launch Good American in 2016 with reality TV star Khloe Kardashian. The company is on pace to bring in $155 million in 2021 sales, a company spokesperson told CNBC.
And in 2018, she became a founding partner in Kim Kardashian’s brand Skims, a brand that includes underwear, shapewear and loungewear featuring skin-toned apparel that embraces a variety of skin types. In 2021, Skims was valued at $1.6 billion, The New York Times reported.
When Grede was 19, she made her first foray into the fashion industry when she landed a job with a fashion show production company. It was here that she learned the importance of building client relationships and working on a team to produce strong outcomes. Seven years later, Grede launched IT Worldwide, a London-based talent management and entertainment marketing agency.
In time, Grede landed partnerships with major brands such as Dior and then began working with celebrities such as Natalie Portman and Kris Jenner. Her partnership with Jenner would eventually lead to two of the greatest opportunities in her career as a businesswoman — lucrative deals with Kim and Khloe Kardashian.