Kim Kardashian is always a topic of interest for the internet, from her fashion choices to her ex-husbands and her ad campaigns. So when Kardashian gave a talk at Harvard Business School, it’s no surprise that some people had a lot of feelings about it.
On Saturday, Kardashian posted a picture on Twitter and Instagram about speaking at a course called “Moving Beyond Direct to Consumer,” and examines how brands scale up. She wrote that she addressed the class along with her business partner, Jens Grede, with whom she cofounded the multimillion-dollar shapewear company SKIMS, and called her visit to the school her “bucket list dream.”
“The class’s assignment was to learn about @skims, so my partner Jens and I spoke about our marketing, our challenges and our greatest wins,” Kardashian wrote in her social media post.
Kardashian is best known for her family reality TV show Keeping Up With the Kardashians, which aired in 2007. She remains on television with a new reality show, The Kardashians, which debuted in 2022, but over the years she has also started several businesses and become a major entrepreneur. She launched KKW beauty in 2017 to much fanfare, closing it down a few years ago. She launched her own private equity fund, Skky Partners, in September 2022. She also passed a major test on her way to becoming an attorney, and has become involved in criminal justice reform. And in 2019, she launched SKIMS—as of January of last year, it was valued at $3.2 billion.
“Just to learn from someone who has built such a successful business was really exciting and I think having the privacy of no cameras in the room, being able to have that candid conversation was special too,” one Harvard Business School student named Liz told a reporter from NBC10 Boston. “I think a lot of people don’t respect her as someone who is co-running a multibillion dollar company.”
But despite her long list of business accomplishments and undeniable marketing savvy, some social media users still seemed surprised that she would be asked to speak at a prestigious business school.
On Instagram, one user commented: “What happened to you, Harvard.” Another account tagged Harvard Business School and wrote “what happened to your standards?????”
“Harvard business 101: getting born into wealth and becoming a celebrity through some bs tv show. What a great and interesting guest lecturer to pick!”a third user wrote.
Meanwhile on Twitter, users had similar thoughts about Kardashian being invited to address students on marketing and business.
One user wrote: “Harvard Business School must be desperate for speakers. They are taking the low fruit for sure.”
But despite the critical comments, several people rushed to Kardashian’s defense, with Twitter and Instagram users saying how she “changed the game,” describing her as an “icon for our generation.”
Amongst those who were cheering her on in her Instagram post were Alicia Keys and Paris Hilton, who both applauded her achievement. Both commented with fire emojis, with Paris Hilton using her classic catchphrase: “that’s hot.”
And Elon Musk associate and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jason Calcanis wrote that Kardashian “is more successful than 99.99% of graduates from HBS — but would have never been accepted to attend the program. Tells you everything you need to know.”
Fortune was not immediately able to get in touch with representation for Kardashian.
Jan 23, 2023: This story has been updated to include additional information about Kardashian’s career and business ventures.
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