Keeping up with Kim Kardashian has never been hard. She’s reality television royalty, whose private life has seldom been distanced from her public persona. Though her idea of sharing has always been “more is better,” motherhood, maturation, and Kanye West, have helped her become, dare we say, more discreet. The move has seemingly earned her a coveted ticket to the Met Gala (a debut not free from scathing critiques), helped position her among fashion’s elite, and made us look at her as an independent fixture outside of the KUWTK hijinks. Ironically, we want to know about Kim K., now, more than ever! On our quest to pinpoint the polarizing public figure, we found these 13 facts that the star has (almost!) been able to keep under wraps.
1. Say what you want, but Kardashian knows the value of a dollar, and how to work for one. During her days at Marymount High School, she worked at an L.A. boutique, Body, to pay for repairs to her totaled BMW. Thus, a rising fashionista was born.
2. A reign as the highest-paid reality television star of all time wasn’t always Kardashian’s claim to fame. The California girl was once a personal stylist and closet organizer for the likes of Brandy, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, and supermodel Cindy Crawford. That, of course, was after her aspiration of being a cosmetologist burned out, a trade she tapped into as a teenager thanks to her late father, Robert Kardashian. Hey, Kardashian Beauty counts.
3. Speaking of her time with R&B sensation Brandy, that’s when sparks really began to fly between lady K and her now-fiancé Mr. West. The Chicago emcee was featured on Brandy’s 2004 hit “Talk About Our Love,” when Kardashian was still Brandy’s right-hand woman.
4. For those surprised by what Ye deems “a love story for the ages,” his courtship of Kardashian has been years in the making. He’s been a supportive fixture in her life, yes, even before she “fell in love with him [Kris Humphries].” Like when Kardashian forayed into music. Her time behind the mic was short-lived, but a music video for “Jam (Turn it Up)” lives on… and if you look closely, you’ll see West make a cameo in the 2010 clip.
5. Though the single was regarded as an absolute fail, it makes sense that Kardashian tried her hand at the music biz. Her mother, Kris Jenner, released “I Love My Friends” in 1985 singing, “we’re gonna party ‘til we just can’t party no more.”
6. Kardashian’s upcoming nuptials to West will be her third: she was infamously married to Humphries in 2011, and music producer Damon Thomas back in 2000. No doubt, when she walks down the aisle in 2014, it will be her biggest wedding yet. We just wonder how West feels about topping Kardashian’s 600 pound, 8-foot-tall wedding cake.
7. For all those speculating over Kardashian’s relationship with the Queen Bey, get this: her first husband, Thomas, is one half of the production duo The Underdogs, who scored the soundtrack to Dreamgirls the movie. So, her one degree of separation from Beyoncé was there before West became her main squeeze.
8. Though he’s long past the romantic angst that fueled his My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy era, West delved into said abyss for Christmas 2013. He recruited artist George Condo, who was responsible for the album’s artwork, to customize an Hermès Birkin bag with his provocative work for Kardashian. Not sure we’d personally tote it around town, or be on board with defacing a Birkin, but, this is KimYe we’re talking about.
9. Ever wonder how the Kardashian-Jenner krew ended up with a show on E!? Meet Kardashian’s “ride or die” Carla DiBello, who is good friends with Alan Mruvka, the founder of Movietime Channel, which later become E!
10. It pays for Kardashian to have friends in high places—literally. Another one of her close allies, Loren Ridinger, is the co-founder of Market America, an Internet marketing firm that helped Kardashian broker up to $10,000 per tweet for select brands.
11. If we weren’t keeping up with her and her family’s antics, we might find Kardashian delving deep into forensics. “Forensic Files is my favorite show,” she once said of the Tru TV drama. “I am fascinated with forensics and this show really shows how crimes come to life and how forensics solve these crimes.” Which could explain why she’s been channeling Carmen Sandiego with her camel Max Mara coat.
12. The new mom may have a weakness for fried Oreos, but we’re sure she pulls all the stops to provide baby North West with the freshest of food options. Perhaps she’s taking a cue from big sister Kourtney Kardashian, who made Mason’s baby food from scratch using a Beaba gifted from mama Kris.
13. Her growing fashion profile could help give momager Jenner more time in the spotlight. Celebrated fashion photographer Bruce Weber not only regarded Kardashian as the only celebrity he’s enjoyed shooting, but deemed Jenner a “really, really interesting” person who he’d love to get in front of his lens.