Kendall Jenner has now been accused of ripping off an Austin-based tequila company that shares a similar brand name, design and logo with her new 818 product, and is even made at the same Mexican distillery.
The accusation comes amid growing backlash faced by the Keeping Up with the Kardashian star over cultural appropriation claims, for naming her tequila label after her Calabasas area code 818, overlooking the spirit’s deep-rooted Mexican legacy.
818 Tequila by Kendall, 25, is marketed as being a twice-distilled blanco that retails at $44.99, while Austin’s Tequila 512 – that launched in 2012 – is a triple-distilled blanco and is priced lower at $26.99.
The alcoholic beverage company called Kendall directly on Wednesday, when they posted about the striking similarities to their product on their official Instagram page.
They claimed that while their product is distilled three times, Kendall’s is only distilled twice, yet she is charging twice the price of their bottles.
Not much to cheers about: Kendall Jenner has now been accused of ripping off Austin-based tequila brand 512 with her similar looking 818 product, made at the same Mexican distillery
‘You may have seen that @kendalljenner released a “new” tequila today,’ the post began. ‘Note the similarities, including the color, the name and it is made at the same distillery in Tequila Mexico as ours.’
The statement went on: ‘Their batches are being distilled twice. Ours three times. Yet she is charging twice as much per bottle. And here we are getting messages like the one in this post image. Doesn’t seem very cool. What do you think?’
The image on Instagram compared the two bottles, which someone had sent to them asking the question, ‘Is that you or did someone copy you?’
Called out: The alcoholic beverage company Tequila 512 called Kendall directly on Wednesday, when they posted about the striking similarities to their product
Tequila 512 CEO Nick Matzorkis told KXAN that his company does not share any ownership ties with Kendall’s brand, the products are completely separate.
‘To be clear the post does not accuse them of “stealing our idea,” but does point out obvious undeniable similarities that in their entirety makes a worthy point on the face of it,’ Matzorkis told the outlet.
Tequila 512 has been around in liquor stories since 2012, and has won industry awards for its taste.
However, with just 27.5k following on Instagram, it certainly doesn’t have the same influence as megastar Kendall, who has a staggering 164m followers.
Backlash: Kendall has also faced cultural appropriation claims, for naming her tequila label after her Calabasas area code 818, overlooking the spirit’s deep-rooted Mexican legacy
Kendall launched the alcoholic beverage in Los Angeles this week, making a series of promotional appearances around town, wearing her 818 branding.
But the Keeping Up with the Kardashian star caught backlash for naming her spirit after the Calabasas area code and appearing to overlook tequila’s deep-rooted Mexican legacy.
Though many have pointed out that there have been male celebrities – including George Clooney and Rande Gerber – who have done the same without getting criticism.
Cheers: Kendall Jenner roamed through fields of agave on horseback to announce the launch of her 818 tequila brand in California with moody visuals shared to Instagram on Monday
Authentic? Kendall’s new line includes an Anejo, Blanco and Reposado from agave plants grown in Jalisco, Mexico
Kendall’s new line includes an Anejo, Blanco and Reposado from agave plants grown in Jalisco, Mexico.
One Twitter user went so far as to say: ‘Kendall Jenner coming out with her “own” tequila is ultimate modern day colonizer vibes.’
Earlier this week, Kendall made sure to turn off comments to her 164million followers on Instagram after facing cultural appropriation backlash for having no real affiliation to Mexico, having grown up in her affluent community just outside of LA.
Angry: Social media users hit out this week in response to the campaign
In hiding: Kendall made sure to turn off comments to her 164million followers after facing cultural appropriation backlash for having no real affiliation to Mexico
In the promotional video, Kendall presented herself as the perfect ranch hand as she walked side-by-side a horse while touring the grounds of her agave fields.
‘What an incredible experience I have had thus far, learning about this beautiful place, it’s beautiful culture, and the beautiful people,’ she captioned the series.
‘@818tequila has launched in California… we will be rolling out to the rest of the US all summer long, keep a look out!!!’
Campaign: Kendall presented herself as the perfect ranch hand as she walked side-by-side a horse while touring the grounds of her agave fields, in the promo
But fans have been less than impressed on social media, after some Twitter users questioned why she has started her own tequila brand.
It has also been questioned how involved the reality star really is in the brand, as 818 comes from a distillery called NOM 1137 that is said to be used by various tequila brands.
Lucas Assis, an L.A.-based tequila expert, told InStyle this week: ‘Basically they just make barrels and barrels and barrels of tequila, and celebrities come in and literally pick a barrel. So there might be a little bit of a difference [between brands], like this one is aged in French oak and this one is aged in American oak.’
Assis added: ‘But essentially, it’s exactly the same bottle, and the celebrity just buys that, and then they just use their marketing and their branding to sell it to you. What you’re paying for is the celebrity affiliation, and not the quality of tequila.’
Picturesque: The campaign sees Kendall roaming through an agave farm in Jalisco, Mexico