Friday, 7 April 2017

KAT VON D vs MAKEUP REVOLUTION

And so the storm rages on...
The battle of Dupes vs Copies is always bubbling under the surface of the beauty world, with a re-ignition coming from Kat von D against Makeup Revolution a couple of weeks ago. Kat initially expressed her unhappiness via Instagram, then went on to upload a video to YouTube where she discussed the reasons around why she’s upset at the MUR palette.



Kat Von D YouTube Video: Dupes vs Rip-Offs

Kat discusses why she thinks it’s unfair, sharing thoughts about how the situation is frustrating to her. She also talks about brands treating other brands with "kindness and thoughtfulness", though that’s completely at odds with her hashtag '#lazyfucks' that she branded MUR with over on Instagram…
Kat shows us ongoing artwork and her vault of sketches detailing the creative process for KVD Beauty products, continually emphasising her attention to detail and the amount of effort she puts into her brand. There’s also a glimpse of a huge makeup collection in her kitchen with Kat explaining that she tests every product before approval.

There’s no doubt that Kat’s an amazing artist who puts her heart and soul into her brand, but - and there's always a but – there’s one area where it’s obvious that she’s getting it all wrong: pricing.
Quite boldly Kat states that cost "doesn't matter" and she believes that people "should understand there's a certain price to pay for quality", attempting to justify her position by comparing KVD Beauty to existing brands and placing hers on the lower end of the luxe spectrum.
While this may be true it's a very sweeping statement to make and, to me, it shows her to be pretty tone deaf. That very argument puts Kat in danger of alienating consumers who may not be able to afford her brand, as well as those who can afford it but don’t like the ‘woe is me’ trope from the rich, out-of-touch owner of the brand.

This whole thing has made me question how in touch Kat is with the world in which she operates. Sure KVD Beauty is sold within a certain pricepoint, whilst MUR is within a completely different one, but they all come under the umbrella of makeup. It seems Kat is failing to understand that people buying MUR's £8 offering (yes, that's a £40 difference) are spending 'only' £8 for a reason; because they want to trial a palette to see if they’ll get wear out of a higher-value brand; because they can't get hold of KVD Beauty easily; because they can't afford to spend £48 on one palette but still want a little bit of makeup to make them feel good about themselves.


Image from Kat's Instagram
To make a YouTube video about packaging and pre-testing is all well and good, but Kat’s MUR hissy fit is irrelevant to both of those points. KVD Beauty and MUR exist in different markets and, whilst Kat’s frustrations aren’t entirely unfounded, I think she’s lashed out very quickly and very publicly without much forethought than ‘THEY STOLE MY PALETTE’.
Ultimately I think Kat’s reaction comes over as snobby with a sprinkle of brand-shaming on top for good measure. I also think her outburst has been enough to make a dent in her consumers’ perceptions, with more comments on social media appearing to lambast her than support her.
Of course this isn’t the beginning of the demise of KVD Beauty. Of course MUR aren’t about to become the biggest and most successful brand du jour. Of course the world will continue to spin and of course there are many more important things to be worried about, but it’s an interesting topic all the same.

I’m curious to know what you guys think about Kat’s outburst and whether it’s affected your propensity to buy her brand. Let me know in the comments.

2 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more with what you have put here, I undoubtedly feel there was an element of snobbery in the whole thing. It was very unprofessional and extremely disappointing.
    Further to note, I actually hopped along to Superdrug after this video to purchase it, it was sold out - or I'm a blind bat. Regardless, it's bought MUR more publicity to a huge market of girls who just can't afford high end. As you taught me, it's not about the price of the product, it's about how you apply it.

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  2. The snobby air is what's got to me the most! You know me, I like expensive things but I like the cheap products as well as long as the quality is there.
    We're lucky we can buy what we want when we want (within reason, you know what I mean!) but the way she's reacted to this makes me so angry for the consumers who have to rely on cheaper brands.
    How dare she try and hide behind the creativity argument when it smacks of being about money! I swear the more Kat von D speaks out about any topic the less I like her, she's not on this planet.

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