Update: VFiles responded to Refinery29's request for comment regarding the partnership with the following: “We are huge fans of all she has achieved so far and think our community will really relate and be excited to learn from her — in particular, we are inspired and share her and Emma's vision and commitment to fashion being accessible to all body types. We think Khloé and Emma have an incredible vision for their brand and a commitment to a vision that may not be considered the "status quo" of the fashion moment. We think [Kardashian] will be able to show the importance of communicating that strength in vision and then being able to execute on it.” When asked if VFiles had any thoughts on Kardashian’s past controversies with young designers, the company simply responded “no.”
This story was originally published on August 1, 2017.
The Kardashian-Jenner family has an undeniable business acumen, with the rare ability to move even the most random products in a way that consistently yields profit: Kim has made an actual fortune on emojis, Kylie can’t keep those Lip Kits in stock, and Khloé's Good American clothing line, which launched just nine months ago, sold $1 million on its first day. Talk about selling power.
On Tuesday, VFiles, "experience based social networking platform that connects and empowers the creative global youth community," solidified Khloé status (and influence) in the fashion world, when it announced that she — alongside her Good American cofounder, Emma Grede, would serve as a mentor for its annual VFiles Runway, a New York Fashion Week showcase "designed to empower and showcase young talent and push the boundaries of culture forward."
Let's pause for a second.
A few questions need to be asked here — the biggest being: Why has Khloé Kardashian been chosen to nurture young talent? While it is impressive that she has managed to find success as a designer in such a short period of time, it hasn’t been without controversy. In fact, since the brand launched, it's been embroiled in two copyright disputes, both of which involve Good American allegedly replicating the work of aspiring indie designers (i.e. the very people she has been cast to mentor).
In March, Good American line was accused of copying Made O.G.’s “Betty” black skinny jeans. “I know the struggles that my designers have to go through to just make it to the next season, so when I see things like them getting ripped off by major, fully-funded brands, it’s more than irritating,” Clara Jeon, founder of Chapter 2, which represents Made Gold, told Refinery29. “It’s insulting and the fundamental reason why it’s so difficult for young brands to continue and grow...[it is] such a blatant ripoff of a small brand, and hopefully make other brands think twice before trying to make a dime off of an independent designer’s talent.”
Two months later, in June, designer Destiney Bleu accused Kardashian of buying her bedazzled bodysuits, jerseys, and intimates for the sole purpose of repurposing them for her own line. Bleu alleged that Kardashian’s former stylist Monica Rose requested two specific bodysuits that were later knocked off by Good American. Kardashian fought back, issuing a cease and desist letter, saying Bleu’s claims were “false, defamatory, and injurious to her reputation.”
Though Kardashian's reputation didn’t suffer from either instances — the family knows how to spin any publicity into good publicity — it's difficult to understand how she can coach young designers when her brand has been accused of stealing designs from them.
We've reached out to VFiles for more information about their selection, and will update this piece if/when we hear back. In the meantime, let us know what you think about her new gig in the comments below.