IT'S official: Kim Kardashian West is a billionaire. The US reality TV star and entrepreneur has joined the elite club of the super-rich with her net worth reaching $1 billion (£727 million), according to Forbes business magazine.

How did she do it?

In short? Kardashian West ripped up the rule book to build a billion-dollar business empire and global fanbase.

A brief recap, please.

Having first found peripheral fame as a friend and stylist to heiress Paris Hilton in the early 2000s, Kardashian West gained notoriety after the release of her sex tape with former boyfriend Ray J in 2007. That same year, the reality TV series, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, began airing.

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While some detractors insisted it would be a fleeting 15 minutes of fame – chiefly from garnering column inches for her cartoonish backside – Kardashian West pulled off a masterstroke with a shrewd and unparalleled move: she utilised social media to make herself into a brand.

The Midas touch?

It would seem so. Kardashian West’s business interests and influences extend across fashion, fragrances and cosmetics to television, books, gaming, and even law and politics. She is also known as queen of the selfie.

Forbes calculated that the 40-year-old’s net worth had risen to $1bn (£727m) from $780m (£567m) in October, a jump credited to her lucrative stakes in the KKW Beauty cosmetics business and the Skims shapewear company.

KKW Beauty was launched in 2017 and Skims followed two years later – the latter brand’s original name “Kimono” was dropped after accusations of cultural appropriation and claims it disrespected the traditional Japanese garment.

HeraldScotland: Kim Kardashian West. Picture: Jennifer Graylock/PAKim Kardashian West. Picture: Jennifer Graylock/PA

Did Kim invent the selfie?

Possibly not. But Kardashian West was an early pioneer.

A 2009 episode of her family’s reality show saw younger sister Khloe facing a 30-day sentence for violating probation rules. Their mother Kris Jenner chided: “Kim, would you stop taking pictures of yourself? Your sister’s going to jail.”

Kardashian West is credited with helping spawn the phrase “break the internet”, referring to the online frenzy sparked after she posed nude for a 2014 cover of Paper magazine with her rear bared and oiled up like a Greek wrestler.

What’s next?

Kardashian West has said she does not intend to play the fame game forever. In 2019, she announced plans to follow in her late father’s footsteps by studying to become a lawyer (Robert Kardashian was a defence attorney who was part of the legal team during OJ Simpson’s 1995 murder trial).

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While working towards her law qualifications, Kardashian West has led calls for criminal justice reform, lending her voice and platform – she boasts 213 million followers on Instagram alone – to lobby for change and seek to overturn unjust sentencing within the US legal system.