Every year since 2011, WSJ. Magazine — not, they stress, the Wall Street Journal itself — anoints a couple new innovators of the year, with past honorees including Elon Musk, Pat McGrath, Daft Punk, and in later years veering very celeb-heavy with the likes of Julianne Moore, Eddie Murphy, Riccardo Tisci (zoiks) and J.Lo. There are more honorees overall, but the covers this year went to Sesame Street, Lil Nas X, and Kim Kardashian West and Kim Jones. Now, I have heard that KKW’s Skims shapewear is actually really good — which is probably more accurately a compliment to her ability to pick the right manufacturing partner; let’s not pretend she drew that shit up in the dirt herself — but when I read the details of her new full line with Fendi… someone please tell me what’s innovative about teaming up with a fashion house to make “sexy, stretchy, and athletic-looking” clothes whose prices start at $950 and go as high as $4200. It would be more inventive to me if Fendi reached out to Skims and found a way to make stuff people who aren’t celebrities can afford. What… is the target audience of this? Who is innovating what here?
All three pieces are behind a paywall; here is Kim’s, if you have access. Lil Nas X is being honored as one of the rare out-and-proud artists in his genre; as he says in the accompanying story about his buzzy videos and performances, “You take certain things like kissing a guy onstage: I know that’s going to be something that’s talked about. But let’s get into the root cause of why it’s being talked about.” And Sesame Street got the nod for figuring out how to diversify its stories, pivoting faster to the times, and generally being awesome (the piece lives here).
In sum: There are a lot of KKW and LNX photos above, but stick around because there are even MORE involving Muppets.