The most interesting parts of Sunday night’s episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians were, as usual, brief moments in otherwise over-exaggerated plotlines. For instance: why did E! censor the faces of Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing and model Jourdan Dunn?
In the episode, Kylie discusses her nerves re: walking the Billboard Awards red carpet without her sister Kendall, who was there to promote Balmain’s line with H&M with Rousteing and Dunn. The event took place Sunday, May 17, which was the same night the first part of Caitlyn Jenner’s special on transitioning aired on E!. In the new episode of KUWTK, Kylie says she fears getting questions about the transition without Kendall by her side, though she ends up running into Kendall while her sister is walking the carpet with Rousteing and Dunn anyway.
Like the many other randoms who surround them, Rousteing and Dunn’s faces are blurred out during this interaction, despite the fact that they are not randos: Rousteing is a good friend of the Kardashian family, and Dunn at least a friend of Kendall’s who has also worked with Kanye West. The moment invoked past episodes of KUWTK, when Kanye appeared but would not be miked—his commentary later subtitled to be fully understood—or when Kim was clearly speaking to her daughter North, but North remained slightly off-camera.
In the episode, Kylie says she knew Kendall had to walk the carpet alone, but then— probably to create some conflict for the television show she is a part of—says that Kendall “ditched” her. Later on, however, it becomes apparent that Kendall’s new career might be changing her relationship with her family on multiple fronts. “I can’t do my own solo thing,” Kendall says during a shoot with her sisters and mother for Cosmopolitan magazine’s 50th anniversary, “because I guess it’s like a conflict with something I already had. I heard Cosmo’s not happy about it, but mom handles everything.”
We find out that each sister was supposed to get their own cover of this issue of Cosmo, which the mag says will be revealed Friday, but that Kendall has a “contractual obligation with something else” and isn’t allowed to have her own. Cosmo’s editors, momager Kris, and Kendall and Kylie’s “creative director” negotiate a deal where a cover with Khloe, Kendall and Kylie will be sent to subscribers only.
(Cosmo’s Lauren Hoffman writes in her recap of the episode: “My editor told me that Cosmo cover segment was, in fact real (I’m not surprised).”)
What other obligation Kendall is talking about remains unclear; typically, celebrities doing magazine covers will sign contracts specifying that they can’t be on competing magazine covers within a certain time span. It could be Vogue Paris’s 95th issue, of which Kendall is featured on a cover, out now, or her cover for Vogue Japan, despite the fact that both of those are slightly out of the purview of Cosmo’s audience. Regardless, Kendall’s activities as of late (and the high fashion company she keeps) seem to be setting her slightly apart from the type of appearances and publicity the rest of her family does.
Notably not blurred in the cover shoot part of the episode: Cosmo editor Joanna Coles, who spoke at length with Kim about Kim’s mesmerizing breasts and how Kim once had a publicist tell her she’d never be on the cover of the magazine (she’s now been on it several times).
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Images via Getty, Screenshot via E!