In this edition of The Confessional, reality blurred’s op-ed section, Dana Escamilla, the creator of the web site Taste of Reality, argues for the Kardashians’ influence by taking a deep dive into the places the cast of Keeping Up with the Kardashians has visited, and how the show has affected them.
The Kardashian/Jenners have been called a lot of things in their 10 years on TV, but tour guides? I know, I know. But let me explain.
We all know the family is a marketing juggernaut promoting their Kardashian brand. The stage was set from the first episodes when Kris, Kourtney, Kim and Khloe were shown working in their DASH Malibu and SMOOCH boutiques.
Beyond their boutiques, as the cameras follow the family’s everyday lives in Keeping Up With The Kardashians they’re giving viewers a tour of their hometown, Calabasas, and surrounding Los Angeles areas.
As the popularity of the show and the family fame grew, so has the globetrotting, and the cameras brought us along for the ride to take in the sights.
Watching to see where they go on KUWTK and Real Housewives inspired me to start Taste of Reality, a website that captures all the places the Kardashian Jenners go (and other shows/ stars) and the people they consult with while filming.
It’s like Yelp for reality TV fans, but in this case the Kardashian Jenners are the endorsers just by appearing at these locations, especially places they frequent.
The Kardashian home world of Calabasas
Over the past ten years, the Kardashians have defined, to all of America and the world, what Los Angeles locals know as “The Valley.” During the first four or five seasons, the family seemingly roamed freely, filming at Calabasas-area haunts for lunches, dinners, pampering, shopping and doctor visits.
Today, they still frequent their favorite local restaurants on the show, including Nobu Malibu, Ruth Chris Steakhouse in Woodland Hills, Maria’s Italian Kitchen, Hugo’s and Casa Vega. Stanley’s in Woodland Hills was a favorite, but it closed to Kris’ dismay. She was so upset to see the deli go under she even considered investing in it to keep it going.
With so much required security and hoards of paparazzi, the past several seasons have mainly been shot in their homes. So now they’re always eating salads and drinking iced tea at home. Although the family has endorsed many products over the years, fans have clamored to know where to get these salads they’re always eating.
On April 12, 2015, Kim tweeted the source of these mystery salads: “a place in Calabasas called Health Nut. Chef salad w mango iced tea.” (For the record, Health Nut is technically in Woodland Hills, which is Calabasas-adjacent).
Yes, people (fans and writers) specifically ventured to Woodland Hills to try salads—yes, salads!—after this big announcement.
Their influence on places in the Valley—and the world—is undeniable.
Where in the world are the Kardashians/Jenners?
Since most of the 14 seasons of KUWTK has been filmed in the Calabasas area—and Kim claims places are in Calabasas when they’re not—it’s safe to say it’s now officially Kardashian Kountry.
As the sisters expanded their DASH stores, the cameras once again followed Kim, Kourtney and Khloe as they “took” Miami and New York.
Along the way, the spinoff shows featured their favorite Miami and NY spots, and today the sisters continue to frequent these cities and places during regular KUWTK seasons. But bigger than that, DASH is now more of a Kardashian Jenner gift shop, stocked with all their branded products and just a splash of other designer clothing brands.
From episode one, DASH has always been the business closest to their heart and is now a mecca for fans. In season 13, the sisters were divided on what to do with DASH since they don’t have the time to run it—and the DASH Dolls spinoff / Vanderpump Rules knockoff failed.
Kourtney’s always been the most passionate about DASH, so obviously she wanted to keep the brand going as stores. They decided to close New York, but even Kris expressed how they needed to keep Miami and Melrose locations because they’re such tourist draws.
Where the Kardashians lead, people follow
Los Angeles, New York and Miami aren’t the only cities the Kardashians have taken along the way. Season one introduced Kim as not only a stylist and boutique owner, but an aspiring celebrity who makes paid night club appearances in Las Vegas.
Kim was the first family member to make appearances, but over time Kris began booking Kourtney, Khloe, Rob and Scott. (I’m pretty sure Scott’s made most of his money from club appearances as that seems like his only job.)
A trip to Vegas for a club appearance was a staple in seasons 1 through 12. The first featured appearance on the show was at The Palms. Later Kim developed a relationship with TAO and for a quite a few seasons developed a routine stay at the Venetian, dinner at TAO and an appearance at TAO Nightclub.
For Scott, Kourtney and Khloe, the routine consisted of a stay at Mirage, dinner at Stacked and partying at 1OAK Las Vegas. Even Kris made a headline birthday appearance at 1OAK Las Vegas (who pocketed the booking fee for that?)! Now that they use their appearance to make money other ways and Scott’s been to rehab, the Vegas trips have dwindled in the past two seasons. But Vegas will always be a very Kardashian getaway.
As their global profile raised over the years, work has taken them beyond their lives in LA, Las Vegas, Miami and NY. Cameras tagged along on these work trips overseas with a little sightseeing squeezed in along the way. The show has taken us on whirlwind trips to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, shopping in London, offroading in the desert of Dubai, hot air ballooning in Australia, a safari in South Africa and relaxing in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland.
And that is to say nothing of the lux family vacations to Colorado, Montana, Mexico, Tahiti, Dominican Republic, St. Barts, Greece, Thailand, Cuba and Costa Rica. The family vacays have delivered epicly entertaining moments like Kim’s meltdown from losing a $75,000 diamond earring in Bora Bora’s crystal blue water and Kourtney’s classic response, “Kim there’s people that are dying.”
This is one of the most replayed scenes from the show which is a nice travel commercial for Tahiti tourism! And who doesn’t want to go parasailing in Greece or to healing volcanic hot springs in Costa Rica after watching all this family fun?
Love or love-to-hate this family, the show’s impact is much more far reaching than just using their fame to promote their own products. They have shined a spotlight on so many places and introduced us to independent, small and large businesses—locally and globally.
And that’s why they are the ultimate travel guides for their millions of fans around the world.