KONTROVERSIES

A Celebration of Kylie Jenner’s 20 Years of Not Letting the Critics Get Her Down

Kylie Jenner is the Kardashian most closely molded in Kim’s image, both in style (they share a fondness for neutral color palettes and Balmain) and in her business acumen: WWD projected, in an analysis released Wednesday, that Kylie Cosmetics will bring in $1 billion per year by 2022. (It took Lancôme 80 years to reach this milestone.) But like Kim—and like all the Kardashians—this wide reach also means Kylie has confronted substantial criticism across her various ventures during her short-but-illustrious career. She was embroiled in controversy over a recent Puma campaign; her one-time relationship with the rapper Tyga was subject to intense scrutiny; and most recently, she was roundly criticized for collaborating with her brother Rob Kardashian just after his former girlfriend Blac Chyna was granted a restraining order against him. And that’s just the start: On the young entrepreneur’s 20th birthday, we look back on her first two decades of drama—not that she’s letting that hold her back.

1
Her Relationship with Tyga

In 2011, Tyga and Kylie first met at Kendall Jenner’s Sweet Sixteen, where the rapper performed. Kylie was 14 at the time. Three years later, Tyga ended his engagement with Blac Chyna, the mother of his son King Cairo—and shortly after, began appearing on Kylie’s Instagram, prompting rumors they were dating. Both Kylie and Tyga denied the relationship—though it was the subject of a line in Drake’s “6 p.m. in New York” and the topic of some scathing words from Amber Rose—until the following year, when Kanye West let slip on The Breakfast Club. The gist of the controversy: Kylie and Tyga’s wide age gap, and the appearance that he left Blac Chyna for a teenager.

2
Colourpop vs. Kylie Cosmetics

After Kylie launched Kylie Cosmetics with her eponymous lip kits, some beauty bloggers noted distinct similarities to ColourPop’s far more affordable range; parent company Seed Cosmetics later confirmed it manufactured both ColourPop and Kylie Cosmetics.

3
The Holiday 2016 Campaign

Kylie Cosmetics has been at the center of many of its founder’s controversies over the past two years—both because of the beauty brand itself, and because it has presented Kylie with a massive platform. For the brand’s Holiday 2016 campaign, which debuted in September, it released an image of gold-painted fingers framing a deep, cranberry lip—mirroring almost exactly an image by makeup artist Vlada Haggerty. Haggerty filed a suit against Kylie Cosmetics, but the feud was resolved before any court battle began.

4
“Barely Legal”

Considering the previous Tyga drama, someone might have advised Kylie that naming one of her new blushes “Barely Legal” might not be the best plan.

5
Her Puma Campaign

Earlier this year, Kylie, one of the celebrity faces of Puma (like Rihanna, and like The Weeknd), appeared in a campaign in which she was depicted mid-running stride, in one image, and springing up into the air as if on a trampoline, in another. Just as her sister Kendall before her was criticized for appearing in a ballet-themed Vogue España editorial, Kylie was criticized for ostensibly taking the place of a real athlete in the campaign. Complaints about her running form—her feet not flexed properly, her knees not at the right angle—abounded, and then subsided in time for Kylie to appear in another campaign several months later.

6
Her Collaboration with Rob Kardashian’s Arthur George

Just after her brother Rob Kardashian was embroiled in his own controversy with ex-girlfriend Blac Chyna (the same Blac Chyna who was once engaged to Tyga), Kylie tapped her brother, sock entrepreneur and founder of Arthur George, to collaborate with Kylie Cosmetics. Many questioned the timing of the collaboration, as it was unveiled just after Rob had unleashed an Instagram tirade, including several graphic photos (that Chyna had not consented to be released), against his former girlfriend.

7
Her Rebranded “Merch”

In the midst of building a beauty empire, Kylie also manages to balance collaborating with her elder sister Kendall on their Kendall + Kylie clothing label. As part of the brand’s most recent drop, the sisters debuted new “vintage” merch, featuring iconic images of the likes of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. with Kendall and Kylie’s own likenesses splashed over the front. The families and estates of the late rappers, as well as other artists featured in the collection, immediately struck back—and the tees were promptly pulled from Kendall + Kylie. (Since then, Kendall + Kylie has been struck by several lawsuits.)