Katherine Von Drachenberg, more commonly known as Kat Von D, is a famous tattoo artist, musician, fashion designer, YouTuber and social media influencer. She launched her self-titled cosmetics company approximately 11 years ago, and it gained popularity rapidly.
At one point, Kat Von D was widely known around the world. Business was booming, products were selling, her name was becoming more and more well-known by the day, and Von D had built an empire, amassing a substantial following both online and through her loyal customers. Von D also gave birth to her first child, Leafar Von Drachenberg Reyes, in late 2018. Over two years earlier, though, she made a career-altering mistake.
Von D posted a photo of Jeffree Star, a fellow makeup artist, YouTuber, social media influencer and best friend of 10 years, with his face crossed out on her Instagram page in July 2016. The caption of this photo read, “After years of making excuses for, and rationalizing Jeffree’s inappropriate behavior (including promoting drug use, racism and bullying) I can no longer hold my tongue ...”
Star quickly responded with his video, titled, “DEAR KAT VON D: IT’S EASIER TO TELL THE TRUTH.” In the video, Star debunked the false accusations by Von D and revealed that his close friends and family members had been receiving threatening calls and messages as a result of this Instagram post. After the truth had surfaced, Kat Von D began losing followers, customers and the respect of the majority of her fans. After all, why would anyone want to endorse and support someone who would willingly betray their longtime best friend for attention?
Some customers continued to purchase Kat Von D products simply because they like the product itself, which is entirely understandable. Many of the upset customers, though, have refused to purchase or endorse anything associated with Kat Von D, including her vegan shoe line, Von D Shoes, since the incident.
In June 2018, roughly two years later, Von D made yet another mistake that greatly damaged her public image. Von D shared in yet another Instagram post that she would not be vaccinating her then-unborn son. This undoubtedly sparked a debate among her fans, and those who believed that children should be vaccinated began to boycott the Kat Von D products once again.
Although it is typically expected for influencers to share almost every aspect of their life online, some thoughts, comments and opinions are better left unsaid. This lesson has hopefully been a very well-learned one for Von D. Between an attempt to bash a colleague and unnecessarily sharing her view on vaccinations for her future children, both foolish and needless posts have caused her popularity, fame and reputation to suffer greatly.
On Jan. 16, 2020, Von D posted a statement on her Instagram page that shocked many fans. The photo showed her posing with long black gloves on her hands and arms in front of a red, dark-to-light ombré backdrop with the words, “MY DEAREST FANS ...” in bold white letters toward the bottom-half of the photo. The caption read, “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 ... I’ve decided to sell my shares of the [makeup] brand, turning it over to Kendo, my partners for the last 11 years.”
Now that the brand no longer belongs to Kat Von D, will the customers who had previously boycotted the company return, or will they stand their ground and continue using alternative products? Personally, I will not be purchasing any products from them for the time being, only because I have found other items that work well for me and my skin, but I would be open to it in the future. What is your stance? Will you continue to use other items because of the previous owner’s mistakes, or will you choose to give the products a second chance? Will the KvD, as it is now titled, brand make a reappearance in your makeup bag?