The Jenner sisters are in hot water again.
First, there was T-shirt Gate. Now, we have Button-Down Shirt Gate.
Kendall and Kylie Jenner have been accused of being culture vultures before. When their ill-fated T-shirt venture was made public, with their likeness pasted over the existing portraits of other rappers and/or musicians, they were dragged to no end on social media, with users being very vocal about their distaste for such thievery. Afterwards, they were sued by a photographer who claimed that his picture of Tupac was used with his prior consent or permission. Then, representatives for the girls came out and attempted to absolve them of any responsibility whatsoever, saying that no infringement took place since the "vintage" shirts were purchased pre-printed from another company, which supposedly allowed them to sell the merchandise as-is. Sounds fishy, but certainly workable as an alibi. However, their latest misstep might not be as defensible.
This time around, the Jenner sisters appear to have played the rip-off game again, this time borrowing from the Latin cholo/chola culture. The shirt in question is definitely nothing you haven't seen before, but how it was displayed by the model in a now-deleted Instagram post, the stylistic influence behind the decision was unmistakable.
When it came to the Internet and social media users, it seemed like everyone was primed for Round Two of culture vulture shaming directed towards the Jenner sisters. From amused disappointment to outright rage, the reactions were varied but universally negative.
😒 and people wonder why I can't take these two seriously at all.... exhibit a 🖕🏻— Sarah Dee (@thesarahdeex) August 27, 2017
she literally took that entire look from Cholas from Latin culture She better realize that she's wearing what these female gangsters wear— Adrian Saenz (@MCADRIANSAENZ) August 27, 2017
showed this to my mom and she's like "for the second time?"— Kira Faith (@kirafaith02) August 27, 2017
lmao first black culture and now chola culture pic.twitter.com/bedKmnrlzw— kelsey llama (@kelseylamae) August 26, 2017
If they're going to appropriate culture they could at least be like "hey guys our new clothing line is inspired by latinx culture!"— Aurora Morice (@iluvpieandlife) August 27, 2017
This isn't the first time that either sister has been on the wrong side of some bad PR that stems from supposed cultural appropriation. Take Kendall Jenner's disastrous outing in a Pepsi commercial, which was painted as extremely tone-deaf and removed from broadcast circulation almost as quickly as it was released into the public sphere. The company later apologized to Jenner and the young woman seemed horrified by the extent of the backlash against the ad, but there's no denying that someone from within the production could've identified that larger problem earlier on in the process. It seems like a similar issue here: a simple case of "It seemed like a good idea at the time..."