Kylie Jenner’s Nipple Bikini Got Her Into Another Impersonation Scandal

This week, Kylie Jenner posted a photo of herself on Instagram wearing a Jean Paul Gaultier nipple print bikini with the caption “free the nipple.” Pretty dope, to be honest – unless you consider that The TaTa Top, a small, gay-owned company, makes almost the exact same style of bikini and thinks the luxury brand has plagiarized them.

TaTa Top founder Linze Rice told BuzzFeed News that people messaged her after Jenner posted the photo, praising her for the massive boost in her visibility (Jenner has over 300 million followers on Instagram). But Rice was confused, because the bikini Jenner was putting on was not from The TaTa Top. To add insult to injury, the Jean Paul Gaultier Jenner bikini has been porter sells for a (frankly offensive) $325, while The TaTa Top sells its tops for $34.99 and donates $3 from each sale to a breast cancer charity, per BuzzFeed News.

These donations align with the overall mission of the Chicago-based company; they don’t just sell nipple-print bikinis (and “Bushy Bottoms”) for laughs. According to the company’s website, The TaTa Top – which Rice, a journalist and writer, bought in 2018 – was founded by couple Robyn and Michelle Lytle after realizing “the double standards created by US nudity laws and they continue to support causes like breast cancer awareness and “challenging gender laws and social norms.”

Instagram/@Kylie Jenner

In a blog post discussing Jenner’s bikini, Rice pointed out that TaTa Top patented its own design after it began selling it in 2014; she told BuzzFeed she was exploring her options, but hopes she won’t have to get into a legal battle with such a massive company. “You expect that sort of thing to some degree – with good ideas come fakes. … But when someone with such a massive following and name recognition scams the little guy (or girl in this case), it’s hard not to be defeated,” Rice wrote in the blog post.

Now, it’s certainly possible that Jenner was unaware that Jean Paul Gaultier allegedly robbed a small business with the bikini she was wearing. But it’s worth mentioning that his family has already been called out on several occasions – including, ironically, by Gaultier – for copying others through their own companies. The Kardashians and Jenners are known for appropriating and profiting from black culture, and they’ve been at odds with black small business many times during their careers.

Earlier this month, Kim Kardashian launched her new skincare line, SKKN, which had an almost identical name and very similar design to Lori Harvey’s SKN. Kim also attempted to trademark the “SKKN” name last year, after which Cydnie Lunsford, the founder of beauty brand SKKN+, issued a cease and desist.

The Kardashians prove that you can have all the money in the world and lack authenticity. Hopefully they will start crediting, supporting and paying their dues to small businesses. Or, as Rice wrote in her blog post, “Our advice to KJ and JPG is, in the words of Kylie’s famous sister: ‘Get your fucking ass up and work. It seems like no one wants to work these these days. LMAO.”

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