Kylie Jenner may be a lot of things, but is thief one of them? The 19-year-old is under fire from New York-based indie streetwear shop, PluggedNYC, for allegedly stealing their designs—and on top of that, the brand apparently has the receipts to prove it. (Get out your tea, people!)
After the reality star announced her new line of camo-printed clothing on Wednesday, the Internet was quick to point out that Kylie’s all-camo looks shared a striking similarity to a camo collection Plugged had been selling for ages. Tizita Balemlay, Plugged’s creative director, apparently saw the resemblance too, which is why she reportedly leaked receipts proving that Kylie knew about (and was a fan of) Plugged’s camo collection before she dropped one of her own. (Drama!)
The receipts consist of a series of emails between Balemlay and Kylie’s team, who ask the designer if Kylie could be a gifted a few of Plugged’s clothing pieces—specifically, the brand’s camo bikinis. (Kylie’s alleged replica of the camo bathing suits also happen to be her most popular item, selling out within a day.)
The alleged emails go on to reveal that Kylie “loved” the pieces Plugged sent over, and wanted to see if the brand could make custom items for her. (Though we couldn’t find the original source of Balemlay’s receipt drops, you can read a reposting of the emails below.)
But the drama didn’t end there. Shortly after Kylie’s line was announced, Balemlay took to Instagram to slam the reality star for not only “copy and pasting” her designs, but also styling her ads in the same exact way.
“I am the influence *drops mic,” Balemlay wrote in the caption. “Copy & Paste down to the shoes I used on my models.”
The designer also shut down critics who argued that Kylie wasn’t at fault as Balemlay wasn’t the person who originated camo. She said that, though she wasn’t the ~inventor~ of camo, she did start the trend of using camo in two pieces. She evidenced this by including pics of celebrities like Rihanna, Little Mix and Keke Palmer wearing her designs.
“I can’t remember one brand that sold matching Camo two pieces that weren’t generic tees with cargo for ladies before my brand,” she wrote. “Funny how someone can just take a whole movement bc of how much money and power they have.”
In addition to being accused of stealing the ideas of a black designer, Kylie is also fighting off claims of cultural appropriation. Like the time she wore cornrows (and many times after that), Kylie is getting slammed for stealing from black culture—with many critics referencing the camo two pieces Destiny’s Child wore in their “Survivor” music video 16 years ago.
“Destiny Child’s didn’t wear camo bikinis 16 years ago in Survivor video for you to say Kylie is the one to start the trend. Respect yourself,” one critic tweeted.
“Every time this girl does something, they say she is starting a trend,” another added.
All we got to say is…yikes.