kendall and kylie jenner superimpose their faces over tupac and biggie on new t-shirts
The sisters’ new Vintage T-shirts collection has proved controversial for the appropriation of iconic rap and rock imagery, it’s ‘vintage’ claim, and the $125 price tag.
Fresh from starring in a rapidly-abandoned Pepsi ad that was accused of coopting protest imagery and erasing the Black Lives Matter movement, you might assume Kendall Jenner and sister Kylie would be treading carefully around issues of appropriation and erasure. You would be wrong.
The social media stars and members of the Kardashian reality TV clan have just launched a new collection of 'Vintage T-shirts' that superimpose Kendall and Kylie's faces, Instagram posts and 'KK' logo over images of rap and rock icons including Tupac, Biggie, Pink Floyd, Metallica, Kiss, The Doors and Black Sabbath. Unsurprisingly, the shirts are drawing heat on social media.
The backlash ranges from comments questioning the authenticity of the 'vintage' claim, disbelief at the $125 price tag, and outrage at the "disrespectful" nature and dubious politics of having rich, privileged white women obscure the iconography of two murdered black cultural icons, Tupac and Biggie.
"Who tf told Kendall and Kylie it was chill to use Pac and Biggie as a background for themselves on their graphic tees? Cause no," @Sydnie_Johnson tweeted, with Twitter user @cametogiveIove writing, "I'm still salty Kendall and Kylie are putting their faces on shirts with Tupac and Biggie. Might as well burn em cause that shit is ugly," adding, "They really fucked up some already great shirts. THE CAUCASITY."
Interestingly, the rap shirts have disappeared from the Kendall and Kylie website, while the rock shirts remain. It's unclear as to whether the rap shirts simply sold out, or if they were removed following the backlash.
i-D have contacted a representative of the Kendall and Kylie brand requesting their response to the criticism reported in this article, and asking for clarification as to why the rap shirts are no longer available on the website. This article will be updated with any response.
Text Charlotte Gush
Photography via kendall-kylie.com