Kendall + Kylie’s controversial vintage tee collection is no more. The tops in question featured iconic images of rap and rock legends (among them Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Metallica, Pink Floyd and Ozzy Osbourne) with either the Kendall + Kylie logo or the girls’ own photos superimposed on top. Immediately after the collection went live on Wednesday, critics took to social media to blast the Jenners for attempting to capitalize on legacies they took no part in building.
Among the T-shirts’ more notable critics were Sharon Osbourne (wife to Ozzy) and Violetta Wallace (Biggie’s mother). “Girls, you haven’t earned the right to put your face with musical icons. Stick to what you know…lip gloss,” tweeted Osbourne at 3:09 p.m. Thursday.
Girls, you haven’t earned the right to put your face with musical icons. Stick to what you know…lip gloss. pic.twitter.com/BhmuUVrDBn
— Sharon Osbourne (@MrsSOsbourne) June 29, 2017
Wallace approached the matter from a more legal standpoint. In an Instagram post (that’s since received over 27,300 likes), Wallace pasted a crossed-out picture of the Kendall’s-face-over-Biggie’s-face tee next to the words: “This product has no affiliation to the Notorious B.I.G. estate. The estate was never contacted about using the likeness of Biggie.”
I am not sure who told @kyliejenner and @kendalljenner that they had the right to do this. 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. This is disrespectful , disgusting, and exploitation at its worst!!!
A post shared by Voletta Wallace (@volettawallace) on
According to TMZ, the Notorious B.I.G. estate’s lawyer, Julian K. Petty, followed up with a cease and desist letter stating that the estate never gave the Jenners permission to use the rapper’s image, calling the collection “misappropriation at its finest” and threatening to sue if the shirts were not taken off the market by Friday.
By 3:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, the tees had been removed from Kendall-Kylie.com, and all evidence of their existence erased from the brand’s Instagram account. (Of course, by that time, most of the stock had already sold out.)
At 4:43 p.m. EST, both Jenner sisters took to Twitter to publish an identical apology “to anyone that has been upset and/or offended” by the collection, especially the “families of the artists.” In it, they admit that the designs “were not well thought out” and promise to treat T-shirtgate as a learning opportunity. Kylie simply posted a screenshot of the statement; Kendall supplemented hers with a purple heart.
— Kendall (@KendallJenner) June 29, 2017
Like we said, 2017: the year of continuing to realize stuff.