It’s Not All Relative
Khloe Kardashian may have come into public consciousness as part of a sister act, but today she is a wife and businesswoman—and yes, reality TV star—
in her own right.
By Linda Marx. Photography: James White for E!
It is high noon in Dallas, Texas, where Khloe Kardashian-Odom and her husband, NBA forward Lamar Odom (with whom she co-stars in a reality show about the couple’s life together in Khloe and Lamar, which airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on E!), who signed with the Dallas Mavericks for this season, are renting a downtown condo. Mrs. Odom, 27, is busy furnishing the space, which was previously occupied by a wealthy gentleman who had a non-working oven in the kitchen. While the move from Los Angeles, where Odom played basketball for the Lakers from 2004 to 2011, was emotional and stressful for the couple—they didn’t know anyone in Dallas— life in recent weeks has improved, and they’ve gotten into the groove. “Cooking is very therapeutic for me, and while I would have loved to de-stress by preparing dinner for Lamar each night after his basketball practice, I decided I’m not going to pay the owner of this condo $6,000 to install a new oven,” says Kardashian-Odom, whose 2009 wedding was filmed for a two-hour special. “Fortunately, Dallas has amazing restaurants on every corner, and we do gourmet carry-out. So we are loving Dallas, even without an oven.”
Indeed, life is good for the most outspoken of the three Kardashian sisters, who has two million followers on Twitter, just started hosting a daily radio show on Dallas’ MIX 102.9 KNMX FM, and is in the midst of filming a new season of her family’s wildly successful show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the most watched and highest-rated program in E!’s history. When Odom travels to away games with the Mavs, his wife jets off to Los Angeles to film more segments of Keeping Up, which is set to air the new season this spring.
“I’m always in Dallas when Lamar is here, because I rarely miss home games,” says Kardashian-Odom, who calls Mavericks owner Mark Cuban “phenomenal” and “very hands-on” with the players.
“I want to support Lamar like I did in L.A. And I love basketball.”
Kardashian-Odom tapes her radio shows ahead of time when she knows she’ll be away. But even when she is ensconced in her Dallas condo, she juggles multiple projects, including the expansive Kardashian Kollection of clothing and accessories she designs with her older sisters, Kim and Kourtney. The ambitious women, who have designed clothes for bebe and QVC and whose clothing is sold in 700 Sears stores nationwide, are now developing a new lifestyle line of shoes, swimwear, lingerie, denim and accessories. This summer, they’ll launch two bedroom and two bathroom collections that will feature bedding sheets, shams, duvets, towels, tissue boxes, toothbrush holders and more. Dark chocolate tones and giraffe prints are designed to appeal to men, while softer-toned items are geared toward women.
The sisters are also planning to move their DASH clothing and accessories boutique from Calabasas to a trendier California location, on either Robertson Boulevard or Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. (With other DASH stores thriving in Miami and New York City, they’re thinking of adding a fourth in Dallas.) And the Kardashian family recently opened the Kardashian Khaos boutique at the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, which is managed by their cousin, Cici Bussey. The store offers unusual items designed by the sisters and their manager mother, Kris Jenner, such as novelty gambling chips, OPI nail polish, playing cards, beach towels, private label makeup and scented candles. “I have meetings with my sisters every 10 days,” Khloe explains of her work schedule in Dallas. “They are basically eight-hour design meetings split into two days. We often work on Skype, which is makes it nice for me because I don’t like to be away from Lamar when it can be avoided.The couple is now developing a second fragrance after spending a year developing their first scent, Unbreakable, one they designed to define their strength and unity as a couple and to be equally as popular with men as with women. (It launched last year at Perfumania in Orlando’s Florida Mall.) Buoyed by the success of Unbreakable around the country, they are now deciding on new packaging for the second scent, which is a work in progress. Since Kardashian-Odom is so busy with a multitude of projects, she’s in no hurry. “We know it’s hard to come up with a great unisex scent, because men and women are so different,” Kardashian-Odom explains. “I am a creature of habit, [while] Lamar mixes and matches. It’s hard to agree on something, but we’ll make it happen. We’re not forcing anything.”
Anyone who has watched her on television knows that Kardashian-Odom is a no-nonsense woman who is not afraid to speak the truth—often with a dollop of sarcasm. Born in Los Angeles to late attorney and businessman Robert Kardashian and his then-wife, Kris Jenner, she is also half sister to Kylie and Kendall Jenner from Kris’s 20-year marriage to former Olympic decathlon champion Bruce Jenner. While sister Kourtney matriculated at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, the youngest of the Kardashian girls never did take to the trappings of academia; she was home schooled and skipped college entirely.
Entrepreneurial and energetic, she was ready to work with her older sisters and became a co-owner of DASH when they launched the ready-to-wear concept several years ago. A supporter of PETA, she once participated in the “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign, which was chronicled on an early segment of Keeping Up.
Like sister Kim, who dated Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush when he played for the New Orleans Saints then later married and divorced NBA player Kris Humphries (“I wish Kris well, but he was all wrong for my sister,” Khloe says), Kardashian-Odom has always had a predilection for jocks. Before marrying Odom, she dated Sacramento Kings Guard Rashad McCants and NFL running back Derrick Ward.