Tattoo artist turned makeup mogul, Kat Von D dropped some major news regarding her namesake beauty brand on her Instagram today that sent ripples in the beauty industry. She announced that she has decided to sell her 11-year-old company to Kendo and will be stepping away from her position as Founder of the beauty brand. Kendo has been her partner since the launch of Kat Von D Beauty and so, the transition is likely not to affect customers and fans of the brand as much.
In the Instagram post, the 37-year-old brand owner has cited motherhood as one of the reasons that led to this big decision. On top of that, she has launched a vegan shoe line called Von D Shoes and is currently working on an album as she returns to music.
“As much as I wish I could balance all of this, on top of continuing my makeup line,” she stated, “it has become clear to me that I just can’t do everything at the maximum capacity.” Kat also mentioned that she is working on touring once her album has been released, which meant that she can no longer give her 100% to the beauty brand that she has built from scratch.
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This past year has been one of great change for me. As many of you know, I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy, launched my vegan shoe line, and am now busy prepping to release my long awaited album in the Spring, followed by an international tour! As much as I wish I could balance all of this, on top of continuing my makeup line, it has become clear to me that I just can’t do everything at the maximum capacity. It’s hard to admit this, since I’ve always said “You can do everything and anything.” But I don’t think admitting one’s limits is a bad thing. With that said, I’ve decided to sell my shares of the brand, turning it over to Kendo, my partners for the past 11 years. This was not an easy decision, but after careful consideration, I decided I wanted the makeup line to continue to thrive and grow, and I believe Kendo is primed to do just that. The transition for you, my loyal customers, will be seamless. In order to avoid any confusion with such a big change, Kat Von D Beauty will take a moment to rebrand itself, so you will start noticing the change from KatVonD Beauty to KvD Vegan Beauty. I’d like to thank my beloved fans+followers who supported my vision to create a brand that stood for compassion, true artistry, and challenged modern ideals of beauty — most of which I never could relate to. I was able to create a makeup line that made outsiders like me feel like we have a place in this “beauty” world, and gave myself and others the tools to express ourselves in our own unique way, whether it was embraced by the majority or not. And I just couldn’t have done any of this without you! Lastly, thank you for understanding+respecting my choice, as it was a difficult one to make, but one I am proud of regardless, and am confident that the team will continue the KvD legacy! Here’s to many, many more years of KvD Vegan Beauty!
Kat Von D Beauty became a household name thanks to its gothic packaging and aesthetic, designed by Kat herself as well as formulas that are long-lasting and highly pigmented. Her liquid lipsticks are game-changers back in the 2010s, in particular the shade ‘Lolita’ which became the number one best-selling lipstick in the US. Her Lock-It Tattoo Foundation was a cult favourite for many due to its intense coverage, able to conceal even tattoos for a truly flawless complexion. Her ‘Shade and Light’ palette was also an iconic product in makeup and was one of the first products that kick started the huge contouring trend that took over the world.
Things seemed to be going very well for Kat Von D until she was involved in a couple controversies that ended with her brand being “cancelled” by makeup enthusiasts, particularly in the US. To begin with, her makeup line had always been edgy in terms of naming their products with lipstick shades called, “Celebutard”, “Underage Red” and “Selektion” (a term that was used during the WWII Nazi regime).
Things went downhill when openly stated that she will be raising her child, Leafar, vegan and vaccination-free. This led to backlash as people interpreted this Kat supporting the “Anti-Vax” movement and her using her platform in a negative way. The intense backlash led to people boycotting Kat Von D Beauty and Kat made a statement via her Instagram regarding her choice to not vaccinate her child.
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My husband @prayers and I are NOT anti-vaxxers. We are not against vaccines. Just because we have hesitancies and valid concerns about injecting our baby with specific chemicals and toxins does not mean we are anti anything. As a soon-to-be-parent [and especially as a first-time-mom] I do feel it my responsibility to have questions, and to listen to my motherly instinct to question things, and do my research. What we have found is that sometimes it isn’t always so black and white. While we believe medications, including vaccines, are not all bad – we also can’t dismiss the fact that some may not be good for everyone. There are plenty of studies that show some vaccinations can work wonders. And there are also studies that show some people [including mothers, and babies] may be more susceptible to vaccine injuries more than others. It’s unfair for anyone to expect me [or any parent] to take the word of the pharmaceutical companies who have much to gain from and industry worth billions without question – and then have to dismiss any concerns of my own. Our personal medical records are no one’s business, and why we would feel it important for us to explore all our options when it comes to vaccinating our child, is also no one’s business – regardless of what I post on Instagram. So, perhaps before any of you feel inspired to harass us, spew hatred, or send ill-will our way, I hope you would try and understand that this is our first child together, and we are simply just trying our best. Lastly, I don’t plan on continuing this topic, and have no interest in fighting anyone. As much as I hate doing this, I will be turning off the comments on this post – and I think you would too, if you were constantly receiving death wishes onto your unborn child. I am sending extra love to everyone today. X
Kat was also entangled in a controversy where was accused to be an alleged anti-semite due to the actions of her husband, Rafael Reyes who has a swastika tattoo that features a star of David, an image she has shared online. Prior to this, in 2010, she was also engaged to a man who was documented dressing as a Nazi and performing Nazi salutes.
The controversy led to Kat making a public statement addressing these accusations via a Youtube video. In the video, she stated that she could not be a Nazi due to her ethnicity, which is Latina.
Plagued with controversy, Kat Von D Beauty has taken quite a hit in terms of public image, which in turn affects sales. Furthermore, since the increase of other celebrity-led makeup lines such as Fenty Beauty, the beauty market has become increasingly competitive. Hence, it makes sense that Kat has decided to pass the torch to Kendo who has actively worked with her all these years.
Kat Von D Beauty is not under going a complete rebranding, changing their name to KVD Vegan Beauty. Kendo stated that the current formulas will stay the same. However, the overall aesthetic of the brand might be subject to change in future.
We are NOW renamed and re-branded @KVDVeganBeauty – and fully owned and operated by Kendo.— KVD Vegan Beauty (@kvdveganbeauty) January 16, 2020
The same team that created our products for the past 12 years (and built the empire with Kat) is ready to make history again. We still value self-expression, compassion and empowerment. pic.twitter.com/z1VABSj6WZ
Questions of whether Kat Von D will be involved in the creative process of any future makeup launches were raised or if she will be receiving royalties and to that, Kendo stated, “Effective immediately, Kat has no ongoing interest in the company and is no longer involved in the brand in ANY capacity. Kendo owns and operates the company in full.”
Kendo also assured fans that the brand will remain cruelty-free and vegan. Makeup enthusiasts are definitely curious regarding this new direction for the brand and perhaps more people will be willing to support the cosmetics line now that Kat Von D is not at the helm. Only time will tell.
Stay tuned for more updates on this!