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Kylie and Kendal Jenner pull t-shirt range after legal threats from musicians

By | Published on Friday 30 June 2017

Kylie & Kendall Jenner T-shirts

Kylie and Kendal Jenner have been forced to pull a range of t-shirts featuring their own faces superimposed over classic music artwork, after it emerged that they had not licensed the images they were obscuring. The Doors and the estate of Notorious BIG both sent cease-and-desist letters to the sisters.

The two Jenners recently began selling the t-shirts via their own online store for $125 a piece. Among the other acts whose artwork they used were Tupac Shakur, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne.

It’s not really clear what the thinking behind the designs was. Perhaps the idea was that the Jenners are the new guard of fame, pushing aside the old. Or maybe it was a more accurate representation of their fame, aiming to make you think: ‘Why am I looking at them when I could be looking at someone with discernable talent?’

Maybe we will never know, because the t-shirts have now been withdrawn from sale, after the cease-and-desist letters began flooding in.

Having got the lawyers to fire off one such letter, Doors manager Jeff Jampol told Rolling Stone: “This is a case of people who fashion themselves as celebrities, who are famous for being well-known but don’t actually do anything, trying to utilise and steal and capitalise on the legacies of those who actually did do something and created amazing art and messages. It’s ironic, at least, and criminal, at worst, both morally, ethically and artistically”.

Although it’s not clear if Ozzy Osbourne actually went legal, Sharon Osbourne tweeted: “Girls, you haven’t earned the right to put your face with musical icons. Stick to what you know… lip gloss”.

Notorious BIG’s mother Voletta Wallace, meanwhile, wrote in an Instagram post: “I am not sure who told Kylie Jenner and Kendall Jenner that they had the right to do this. The disrespect of these girls to not even reach out to me or anyone connected to the estate baffles me. 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”.

Confirming that the rapper’s estate had joined The Doors in sending a cease-and-desist, lawyer Julian K Petty told TMZ: “This is misappropriation at its finest. I’m curious to hear the justification. I’m even more curious to hear the proposed resolution”.

Not sure how pleased Petty was with the response, but Kendall Jenner issued a statement on Twitter yesterday, saying: “These designs were not well thought out and we deeply apologise to anyone that has been upset and/or offended, especially to the families of the artists. We are huge fans of their music and it was not our intention to disrespect these cultural icons in any way”.

In terms of a resolution, she added: “The t-shirts have been pulled from retail and all images removed. We will use this as an opportunity to learn from these mistakes and again, we are very sorry”.

This is the second recent controversy involving Kendall Jenner that has resulted in something being withdrawn. In April she starred in a soft drink commercial which not only presented Pepsi as the one thing able to unite our divided society, but also appeared to be a straight-faced rip-off of a Chemical Brothers video, though with all the satire removed.