May 17, 2022

Kendall Jenner’s recently launched 818 Tequila brand is subjected to another controversy after a Texas tequila company, Tequila 512, claims that the drink is very closely similar to its own tequila brand. Earlier this month, 818 Tequila was accused of “cultural appropriation.”

Nick Matzorkis, the Tequila 512 CEO, posted to Instagram last week the highlights of the similarities between his brand and Jenner’s new product. He included a photo from a customer pointing out an 818 Tequila bottle and asking, “Is that you, or did someone copy you?”

“Note the similarities including the color, the name, and it is made in the same distillery in Tequila Mexico as ours,” he wrote in the post, which appears to have since been deleted but was captured by the media and some fans.

Matzorkis further said that Jenner charges twice as much for her alcoholic drink, which is twice-distilled only, while Tequila 512 undergoes three distillation processes.

“And here we are getting messages like this one in this post image. Doesn’t seem very cool,” Matzorkis said.

In an interview with KXAN, a local TV station, Matzorkis said he wasn’t accusing Jenner of any wrongdoing.

“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 station.

Jenner’s tequila was previously accused of cultural appropriation after the release of the new ad campaign, which featured Jenner riding on horseback, wearing jeans, a loose cotton shirt over a tank top, and a cowboy hat, an ensemble being tagged as “migrant chic” and “tone-deaf.”

Jenner’s fans, however, were quick to defend the model’s latest business venture, saying that men like George Clooney, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and several celebrities have launched tequila brands without being accused of appropriating Mexican culture.

“Kendall Jenner’s 818 tequila is no different than George Clooney’s Casamigos or The Rock’s Teramana,” tweeted one supporter, with another adding, “I get why Kendal shouldn’t own a tequila & I’m for it, BUT why don’t y’all have that same energy with every celebrity who owns a tequila that isn’t Mexican ????”