On Wednesday, Kendall and Kylie Jenner debuted a capsule of vintage T-shirts repurposed and reprinted to bear the siblings’ portraits or initials. But people didn’t react well to the new merchandise.
Pictures of the pair have been superimposed over the images of famous musicians and band. Such as Tupac, Biggie, Pink Floyd, and Metallica. Even though some supporters of these big names are upset, the T-shirts are still selling like crazy.
Sparking outrage with the vintage collection
Kendall and Kylie Jenner unveiled on Wednesday, their latest business move on their luxury line K+K. A vintage inspired t-shirt collection which features their faces and logos plastered over photos of iconic music legends.
The 15 pieces contained pictures Kendall and Kylie’s faces printed on top of iconic photos of Biggie and Tupac, as well as bands such as Metallica, Pink Floyd, and The Doors. Each T-shirt was listed at $125 USD.
“All shirts are assorted and one of a kind. What you get may vary from your friends and what is pictured on site, as each tee shirt is a vintage original,” the website warns.
The Jenner sisters faced serious backlash on Wednesday, for the perceived insensitivity of some of the designs. People were definitely not having it and took social media to criticize the sisters. Specifically, the designs involving rap icons, Tupac and Biggie, were the ones that have met the most outrage.
In one of the designs, a shirt bearing Tupac’s image has a controversial Instagram photo of Kylie in cornrows on top. Kylie was heavily criticized for appropriating black culture due to that look in 2015.
Though the Kendall and Kylie official website still had a landing page promoting the vintage T-shirt collection, the shirts appear to be no longer available. It’s unclear, however, if the shirts simply sold-out or if the items were pulled.
A tweet from Kylie’s Twitter account promoting the vintage tees has since been removed. Images of the tees have also been removed from the Instagram account.
The sisters even received backlash from the families of the celebrities in the shirts
The sisters were not only called out by fans but also for people related to the music icons in the t-shirt collection. Sharon Osbourne spoke out on Twitter in disapproval of the Ozzy Osbourne shirt. Assuring that the Jenners “haven’t earned the right to put [their faces] with musical icons.”
Also, Biggie’s mother Voletta Wallace took Instagram to express her outrage on Thursday. On the post, Wallace highlighted that the girls have no rights over the images. She also denounced the tees don’t have the affiliation to the Notorious B.I.G. estate.
She added, “The disrespect of these girls to not even reach out to me or anyone connected to the estate baffles me. I have no idea why they feel they can exploit the deaths of 2pac and my son Christopher to sell a t-shirt.” Finally, she said, “This is disrespectful, disgusting, and exploitation at its worst!!!”
The Jenners have made no comment about the outrage their new collection caused.
The Jenners are a magnent for controversy
It’s been a year of controversies for the Kardashian-Jenner clan, especially when it comes to fashion and beauty.
The reality stars have been accused of black culture appropriation several times this year, for their products advertisiments. Then Kim was accused of black facing, and let’s not forget the hole Kendall Jenner Pepsi controversy.
But this time, it’s unclear if the sisters obtained the rights to the images from any of the other stars before selling them for a profit.
Also, the move has become fodder for users on Twitter, with some describing the move as “trash” and “racism.” Though it seems like the mix of the cover image and the Jenner’s image is sleected in an aleatory way, it’s still pretty shady.
However, it’s difficult to find the silver lining in this situation. Given the fact that the Jenners decided to use the very same picture that in 2015 caused rage on Instagram with over 100k comments.
At the time, The Hunger Games actress, Amandla Stenberg, called out the reality star over the fresh cornrows look saying some wise words. The actress, who was not the only critical commentor on the look, suggested Kylie to bring attention to the true and fatal racial issues American culture is dealing.
It is also very possible that the Jenners approached this as fans of the artists “featured” in this collection. Kendall once called Shakur her spirit animal in a rapid-fire Vogue interview.
However, the optics of how it was executed—of printing the likeness of two white women, who have attracted criticism for profiting off of black culture in the past, over that of the two most beloved, renowned rappers in history—didn’t come off that way…at all.
Source: XXL Magazine