Kylie Jenner's newest merchandise collection may be just a bit too close for comfort to this Black indie designer's work.
The Kardashian-Jenner clan are no strangers to accusations of appropriation, but blatant copyright infringement is another story.
According to Balemlay, Jenner’s team requested custom knit tops from the brand last month. Although the camo outfits aren’t being requested here, these screenshots from her Instagram story show that Plugged NYC was indeed on Jenner’s radar.
Hailing from Silver Spring, MD, Tizita Balemlay settled in New York City to bring her brand Plugged NYC to life. Boasting 23K followers on her Instagram page and support from stars like Rihanna and Keke Palmer, the brand is certainly gaining traction in popularity.
The designer has been very vocal about the issue saying, “I am the influence *drops mic. Copy & Paste down to the shoes I used on my models,”
Plugged NYC supporters are buzzing on social media about the alleged plagiarism, encouraging the designer to make this a legal matter.
What’s interesting but unfortunately expected is that some media outlets have already credited Kylie with making camo bikinis a thing —even though Destiny’s Child stomped around in the exact same look in the video for ‘Survivor’ about 16 years ago.
Balemlay makes is clear that she isn’t claiming to have invented Camo two-pieces but is definitely bringing the look back.
The real issue here though, is the idea that as someone with influence can take from someone who’s up-and-coming without answering to anyone.
So often accused of taking from Black women, it will be interesting to see Jenner’s response to what many are calling a blatant replica of a Black indie designer’s work.
At the time of publishing there was no word yet on what the next steps will be for Plugged NYC and TheKylieShop.
This story is still developing. We’ve reached out to both parties for comment and have not yet received a response.
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