Pret-a-Reporter

Why the Fashion Crowd Should Defend Kim Kardashian

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Kim Kardashian with designer Olivier Rousteing at Balmain's post-show party during Paris Fashion Week

There seemed to be a certain attitude among some fashion watchers that maybe she deserved it, after all these years of exploiting the public's voyeuristic fantasies for her own financial gain — but that's not fair.

It was a blow to the fashionable image of Paris, and the fashion crowd could talk of little else Monday when news broke that Kim Kardashian West had been robbed at gunpoint in her Paris hotel hours after the Givenchy show, where she, Kris and Kourtney Kardashian came out to the Natural History Museum to support Kendall Jenner's runway turn for designer Riccardo Tisci, who designed Kardashian West's wedding gown.

The incident brought to the fore security concerns that had been on everyone's minds since the terrorist attacks in Paris. But unlike those previous events, which involved violent crimes in public spaces with casualties, this was a robbery of a public person in a private residence. Kardashian West was not physically harmed, according to her spokesperson, though property totaling an astounding $10 million was allegedly stolen.

The details of the crime, which include her being bound and gagged, are horrific. And yet many people at the shows questioned if the incident was even true, suggesting that despite landing the cover of Vogue magazine, Kardashian West, a Hollywood reality television and social media star, is still regarded as an outsider In fashion circles.

"I am suspicious because I don't think anything in her life happens that she hasn't orchestrated. Where were the TV cameras?" one editor commented. "I wouldn't be surprised if she was trying to one-up her sister Kendall, who has been getting all the attention on the runway," another added.

Indeed, West is famous in large part because she gives the public a window into her every move (and exposed body part). She has given social media followers several updates on her whereabouts since arriving in Paris, which may have even tipped off robbers about how to find her.

And there seemed to be a certain attitude among some fashion watchers that maybe she deserved — after all these years of exploiting the public's voyeuristic fantasies for her own financial gain — to have her personal privacy violated.

But that's just not fair. Because a crime against anyone is no joke, whether that person is Kim Kardashian West or Anna Wintour.

And the fashion industry has profited off West immensely. Despite outspoken critics who said they would cancel their subscriptions, the April 2014 issue of Vogue featuring Kardashian West and Kanye West sold a record-setting number of copies (more than 500,000, a 20 percent increase over the previous month's Rihanna cover).

Kardashian West has brought visibility to countless designers, including Balenciaga's Demna Gvaslia on Sunday, when she attended his show wearing no makeup and an off-shoulder trench coat, and Olivier Rousteing at Balmain last week, when she turned heads in a crochet dress that barely covered her.

With her voluptuous body, she's pushed the definition of the beauty ideal to be more inclusive, and we've seen the trickle-down effect this season at Christian Siriano, Lanvin and other runway shows, which have featured more realistic-sized models.

And let's face it, every time a fashion show attendee (yours included) snaps a photo of her in the front row, and posts it to social media, we're benefiting from her celebrity — and her accessibility.

So where are the rest of her fashion defenders now?

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