Earlier this week, it could safely be said that Kendall Jenner has finally gotten to the point where her name could be mentioned without an obligatory mention of the Pepsi scandal earlier this year. (To recap, in case you’ve been living under a rock: She starred in an ad for the soda that was widely decried for making light of Black Lives Matter, to the point that Pepsi, who issued an apology, also eventually pulled it.) That’s no longer the case, though, now that Jenner again landed herself in water, this time with a partner. On Wednesday, Kenner and her sister Kylie, a fellow well-documented fan of vintage, came out with a line of vintage-inspired t-shirts—one that, just a day later, has already proven so controversial that it’ll never actually make its way to shelves or online shopping carts.
That’s thanks to the fact that, rather than taking, say, The Matrix as their inspiration for their latest Kendall + Kylie collection, the pair decided to impose their faces over those of legendary musicians on 15 different seemingly well worn t-shirts—apparently without contacting at least some of the musicians’s estates for permission, or considering that the designs might be disrespectful to those names and their families, especially given that some of those they featured and photoshopped were in fact murdered.
Take, for example, the late rapper Notorious B.I.G., whose mother, Voletta Wallace, posted on Instagram on Wednesday to express her discontent, taking care to tag both of the Jenners. “The disrespect of these girls to not even reach out to me or anyone connected to the estate baffles me,” she wrote. “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!!!”
Notorious B.I.G.’s murder has also come up again this week given the release of Sean “Diddy” Combs’s new documentary, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop. It’s worth noting that the Jenners have been fresh on Combs’s mind lately, too—though apparently much less fondly, given that he keeps “accidentally” shading them on Instagram. (While no one from Tupac’s estate has yet spoken up, others are saying the tees are simply the latest instance in the Kardashian family’s appropriation of black culture, from coopting Black Lives Matter for Pepsi to repeatedly wearing cornrows to Kim Kardashian’s blackface controversy earlier in June.)
As it turns out, the t-shirts featuring the living have also gotten the pair in trouble, too. Less than pleased about the t-shirts emblazoned with her husband Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon Osbourne also took care to tag both Jenners in her tweet calling them out, suggesting Kendall and Kylie, the latter of whom is a known beauty magnate, stick to lip gloss instead.
Kendall, at least, seems to have learned from her Pepsi days, and is perhaps looking to make up for the fact that she never apologized for that snafu. It was only a matter of hours before she tweeted her apologies on Wednesday, explaining that (despite the fact that she and Kylie each have millions of followers, and have each built empires out of their self-awareness of their influence) the designs were “not well thought out” and would therefore be pulled from retail.
“We will use this as an opportunity to learn from these mistakes,” Jenner continued—hopefully words that won’t come to haunt her when it comes time for the next family controversy.
Kendall Jenner Gets Real: “I’m Weird, I Love My Tits Being Out”: