Meet the woman who made a fortune who helped build the Billion Dollar Business Empire

Emma Gred spent her childhood saving the spare parts for buying fashion magazines. He is now earning millions by helping one of America’s most famous families start and run their own business.


It’s a normal day for Emma Gred, who has just picked up the phone with Kris Jenner and is traveling across Los Angeles for a photo shoot with Khloé Kardashian. “I talk to all of them every day,” he says of the ultra-famous family. “I mean, we don’t talk a lot on the weekends.”

This is a regular relationship for the 39-year-old entrepreneur, who, along with her husband, Jens, has become one of Kardashians’ closest collaborators in moving from reality TV queens to wise entrepreneurs. Together, the couple has helped the family start and run three businesses, including Kim Kardashian’s Skims clothing line (Jens is the founder and CEO, Grede is a founding partner and CEO of its products). Grede is the co-founder and CEO of Good American, which began in 2016 with Khloé; and launched in March last year as a founder of Jenner’s new cleaning supplies company, Safely.

“Part of the beauty of collaboration is that we’re all very clear about our roles and what we’re doing, but there’s a lot of respect for each other and what each person brings to the party,” Gred says.

“Emma is one of the toughest people I’ve ever met. In addition to immersing herself in every component of the business, she’s constantly pushing the scope of what can and should be a modern and inclusive fashion brand.

–Khloé Kardashian

By running many of these businesses, Gred has found a place with Kim and Kris Forbes’ 2022 list of the richest self-made women in the US Forbes Gred estimates that it is worth $ 360 million, largely due to a nearly 8% stake in Skims, which was valued at $ 3.2 billion in January. The rest of his wealth comes from owning about 23% of Good American, 22% of Safely and 22% of the most valuable stakes in Frame and Brady; the latter is a collaboration with NFL legend Tom Brady.

Grede may be better known to people outside the fashion industry as a guest judge Shark Tank. He says he took on the role of helping focus on black-owned businesses. He is also president of 15 Percent Pledge, a campaign launched in May 2020 following the assassination of George Floyd, which calls on merchants to commit 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned brands (Nordstrom, Sephora and Macy’s are among the signatories of the pledge).

“When I came to America they asked me a lot of questions about being a black woman in business and the truth is, that was never my reality or experience in Europe that was something that people would question me about,” says Gred. The racial justice movement of the last two years, along with its rising profile, has led him to take action. “With my position and what I was able to build for myself and where I am now in my life, I felt that the right thing to do was to take advantage of that.”

Grede may be rich and famous now, but it has been a long journey so far. As one of only four single-mother daughters in East London, she remembers working from a paper age and a few other jobs from the age of 12, and using the alternate shift to buy fashion magazines. “I grew up in the 80’s and it was just the heartbeat of the London fashion industry, and for me it was about supermodels,” she says. “I was obsessed with the chain [Moss] and Naomi [Campbell] and Linda [Evangelista] and Helena [Christiansen]. It was almost an escape, to be able to look fashionable. ”

The financial struggle forced the young Grede to leave the London School of Fashion and take a job at a fashion production company, which was a blessing in disguise. He became aware of the struggles of fashion designers trying to get trustees and came up with the idea for his first business, an agency that would link designers to funding. At the age of 24, he started the Independent Talent Brand (ITB), a marketing and entertainment company that grew over the next decade, before being sold to Rogers & Cow’s marketing company in 2018.

Gred was introduced to Kardashians while she was building her agency (so she met her husband, who was one of her first investors; she and business partner Erik Torstensson were running the London Group marketing agency on Saturday). She says she often met the family matriarch at fashion shows and would discuss her daughters ’careers. “If you work in entertainment marketing, you really don’t have a business if you don’t work with Kris Jenner,” he added. So when Gred came up with the idea of ​​a fashion company of all sizes and races — inspired by a variety of real and “positive bodies” brands, he immediately took them to Jene, who offered to introduce them to Khloé. Grede moved to Los Angeles next week.

Kardashian’s sister says Gred sold the company’s “crystal” view. “It was so obvious that she was really committed to changing the fashion game so that all women could be truly involved and pioneering inclusiveness,” Khloé said. Forbes. “Emma is also one of the toughest people I know. Not only is it immersed in every component of the business, but from creation to development, to execution, it is constantly pushing the spread of what a modern and inclusive fashion brand can and should be. I knew I had to join him on the trip. ”

“When I came to America they asked me a lot of questions about being a black woman in business and the truth is, that was never my reality or experience in Europe.”

“Emma Gredes.”

Good American, which is rare in the 00-24 size range, says it made its biggest denim presentation in history when it premiered in 2016, selling for $ 1 million on the first day of release. One reason for its success is that it is technically difficult to make so many sizes. “There’s a reason many other brands don’t do that … When you make so many outfits, it’s not easy,” she explains. Since then, the brand has spread to swimwear, shoes and more; He recently attracted attention with the release of a pair of 90s-themed jeans with a pattern of small square holes in his pants.

Gred, who moved to Los Angeles with her husband in 2017 to stay closer to the clan and the major American market, says she directs “everything in every aspect of the business,” while Khloé focuses on design and marketing. The reality star often appears as a model on the Good American website and spits out her Instagram page, which has a whopping 250 million followers, dressed in her photos.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Simeon Siegel says having an “integrated marketing machine” like Kardashian can be incredibly valuable. “Overall, we’ve seen that companies work best when brand creators team up with operators that come with the support of an initial audience,” says Siegel, though he stressed that partnering with a celebrity isn’t enough to be highly competitive. fashion industry.

“The company with the best product and no audience, or the company with the best audience and no product, are simply not companies,” says Siegel. “Companies have to do everything.”

After navigating the early stages of Good American growth, Gred says she “felt a very natural and easy collaboration around” when she and her husband Kim helped them launch Skims in 2019. While Jens drives every day. Gred’s trendy clothing line operations focus on design, production, planning and merchandising as the company’s chief product officer. “I’m really following Kim’s path,” Gred says. “Skims is Kim’s vision, it’s her idea, it’s her aesthetic. My job is to make it possible and make it happen. ”

In general, his work with Good American and Skims is predominant. But there’s more to her plate, including her duties as a mother of four (she had twins through a replacement in 2021). He juggles this, he says, knowing when to delegate. For example, he hired someone else to serve as Safely’s CEO, “because I’m not the best person to run a consumer cleaning business.” “I’m four kids and I have nonprofit commitments, which takes a lot of time, but like anyone I don’t do anything alone,” Gred says. “I have awesome people around me, but also in my family life, and I always feel like I want to be really honest as a working mom. I don’t think I have everything. I definitely don’t do it all the time.”


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