This past Monday, Kendall Jenner, heir to the Kardashian celebrity throne and Bruce Jenner’s middle part, turned 19. Media outlets from Vogue to Cara Delevingne’s Instagram joined in wishing her a happy birthday — something that, years ago, would have raised many a bold, well-groomed eyebrow.

I’ve avoided the topic of Kendall’s quick rise to her spot in today’s fashion oligarchy mostly because I’ve been the sole cause of the Daily’s saturation in all things Kardashian. I even delayed writing this column because “Kourtney & Khloé Take the Hamptons” was on and I desperately needed to understand why Khloé was dating French Montana (I still don’t — name one redeeming quality, Khloé). And for a while — a long while — I didn’t think Kendall was going to be that big of a deal. Obviously, I was wrong.

It’s not that Kendall’s “It Girl” status comes as a total surprise. There’s a solid percentage of people in the entertainment industry who got their shot at fame just because they’re the spawn of other celebrities. Celebrities have bred talents in their own right, people like Stella McCartney, Angelina Jolie, Rashida Jones and Sofia Coppola. Stars who have developed their careers and personas to the extent that you no longer associate them with the reason they’re on this earth — even if you share a last name with that reason and that last name is “McCartney.”

But seven years ago — when “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” first premiered, and Kim could barely land her own gigs outside of QuickTrim ads and Kendall was a mute, awkward 12-year-old — the idea of anyone from the Kardashian-Jenner dynasty going on to achieve great success seemed laughable. It probably still does to some people, but hey, I wasn’t shamelessly playing your iPhone game every day on my train rides to work this summer, was I?

I could go into uncomfortable detail about Kendall’s modeling aspirations, which in the beginning, were played out with some frequency on the show — and if there’s one thing I do understand, it’s the E! network. Despite the show’s increasing success and Kendall looking more and more like a model each season (she’s 5’10” and probably 75 percent leg), I still wasn’t sold on the idea that she would be able to break into high fashion. She landed a few commercial spreads and covers on magazines like Seventeen and Teen Vogue, but she shared these gigs with sister Kylie and most likely got them thanks to the burgeoning popularity of “Keeping Up” — definitely not because she was “Kendall Jenner, model.”

Then there was the Marc Jacobs show. Not just any Marc Jacobs show (not that anything he does can be so casually classified), but the Jessica Lange-narrated, eyebrow-bleached, blunt-bobbed, nip-tastic Fall 2014 Ready-to-Wear show. I remember exactly where I was — probably because it’s where I am for most things — sitting under my electric blanket in my bed. Fully swept over by the hype of fashion week, I made a point of watching the show’s live stream.

To me, it’s still the standout show of that season. The bold yet muted colors, the clone-like androgyny of the models, Jessica Lange serving as orator and, of course, Marc Jacobs coming out after the finale in Adidas track pants. It was definitely memorable. The unforgettable production value made me somewhat oblivious to the individual models walking down the runway — to be fair, they had bleached eyebrows and wigs on. It wasn’t until I went on Twitter afterward that I realized one of the blonde-browed, nipple-bearing models was indeed “aspiring” model Kendall, signaling a firm and final farewell to the days of Forever 21 campaigns.

Since then, fashion has heeded to a full-on Kendall takeover. Reflecting on fall fashion week, it’s hard to name a show she didn’t walk in. We’re talking Chanel, Givenchy (she’s basically best friends with Riccardo Tisci), Marc Jacobs, Emilio Pucci, etc., etc., etc.

It would be easy to credit a famous family for her success, and in part, we can. Kim’s ties to fashion tightens each day, and with a brood as famous and vast as the Kardashians, it’s not a novel idea to say they know people in high places. But making it from the oft-criticized world of reality television, to commercial modeling, to high fashion takes a little more than being able to cite Kris Jenner as your mom … OK, a lot more.

With such a large family, it’s possible that there will always be a slight Kardashian-Jenner stigma Kendall has to face — but based on her long strides in the past few years, it may not necessarily be a bad thing. In that small span of time, she has gone from Kardashian sister, to a Jenner, to just Kendall — high fashion model, Givenchy muse, Cara comrade — all by 19 years old. If that doesn’t erase any doubts you have on the power that is being Kendall Jenner, just give her a year or two.

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