After Khloe Kardashian showdown, Destiney Bleu claims small designers struggle against big brands
Hours after receiving a seven-page fiery letter from Khloe Kardashian and Good American’s legal team, Destiney Bleu offered her view of the social media firestorm. Challenging the designer’s June 2 tweet that two Good American bodysuits looked too familiar, attorney Marty Singer called that “an absolute lie,” claiming Kardashian never purchased “one of everything” among other things. The letter, which was posted on TMZ and addressed to her attorney, also claims Bleu “brazenly misappropriated Ms. Kardashian’s valuable rights of publicity with her unrelenting commercial exploitation of Ms. Kardashian’s name and photograph — including photographs she has taken from Ms. Kardashian’s Instagram account without authorization – which your client freely admits has generated “a ton of @dbleudazzled sales.”
But Bleu claimed Tuesday that the situation is more a matter of young designers being overrun by celebrity designers and big brands adopting their designs. A former professional dancer who worked for the Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks, The Pussycat Dolls, Tyler Perry Studios and FBE among others, she said she started her business on the side and it developed from an Etsy store. That’s how clients like Cirque du Soleil found her, Bleu said, adding that Lil Wayne, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga have hired her, too. With a six-person team, her company’s annual sales are now $685,000.
She said a few stylists told her they had seen her designs on a set for Good American. “I was just hurt when I found that out. I was like, ‘Oh man, I don’t want to have to go through this.’ I speak up for myself. I’ve been doing this by myself and figuring this out for a long time,” she said. “It might not affect my sales or it might. It’s frustrating that it makes me feel a way toward people that they might do this — especially the Nipple Burst design. It’s just frustrating that someone of that caliber is going to implement them into their line where I thought they were a fan of my brand.”
According to Bleu, Kardashian’s assistant Alexa Okyle first requested a look book. “I think at that time Kylie’s stylist Jill [Jacobs] had already pulled a bunch of stuff from us over the course of time. We also worked with Monica Rose because she would do stuff for Kendall [Jenner] or other clients. Alexa requested catsuits for Khloé, things for appearances that Monica styled her in.”
Bleu claimed to have contacted Okyle in April after seeing the two bodysuits online, asking if the styles would be produced and mentioned that she hoped that Kardashian would want to collaborate and help her figure out production. “If I’m being 100 percent honest, which I am, I know this happens in fashion. I have a crazy amount of people who are supporting me and understand that these girls are making a million dollars a day on jeans and lip glosses and…that’s great. I think Good American is amazing and have so many friends who love their products. It’s frustrating when someone is trying to do what you do especially after you’ve been trying to build a relationship. I stayed late and made all of her stuff. I have other people who could have done it, but I’m a psycho and I wanted it to be perfect.”
In his letter, Singer repeatedly disputed allegations of copying, noting that the items Rose requested in December 2016 “were completely different — full-bodied, long-sleeved and lined with crystals distributed evenly all over the garments” compared to the one depicted in the June 2 tweet. He also noted that Rose had “erroneously informed Kardashian that the catsuits requested had been gifted” and they were paid for after being informed otherwise. Rose did not respond to a request for comment, and Singer declined comment Thursday through a spokeswoman.
Using 12 photos of Taylor Swift, Karlie Kloss and other celebrities wearing “embellished sheer bodysuits” to prove his point, the attorney wrote in great detail the trend’s evolution, pointing to burlesque dancers from the early 20th century, Las Vegas showgirls in the Fifties, Donna Karan’s “Seven Easy Pieces” in the Eighties and more recently Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner in the past decade. Singer also referenced the leotard’s creator Jules Léotard.
After a friend first questioned the similarities between two bodysuits in Kardashian’s Good American collection, Bleu said she dismissed the suggestion. “I’ve never claimed I’m the originator or the only person who is allowed to make crystal bodysuits. I’m well aware of what’s out there — different lingerie brands or whatever. I just assumed that it was somebody else’s and maybe The Daily Mail had gotten it wrong. I thought, ‘No, she isn’t going to do that. She’s ordered one of everything. I think she just really likes my stuff,’” she said.
Uncertain of her next legal move, Bleu said, “They’re going to try to get it on a technicality. Good American has a team of designers and Khloé isn’t on that team so technically…we know where this is going. I just don’t feel like I should have to be quiet…but something has to be done. People need to be accountable for what they did. Maybe they didn’t buy it and copy it exactly. I probably could never prove that and they know that. This world we live in where everyone with more money and power are the ones that are heard — I’m just sick of it. I didn’t say anything that wasn’t untrue. I really feel that they copied and made sure to order everything in small [to be able to scale it up].”
She said, “I want to keep people inspired. You don’t have to copy everyone else and see what everyone else is doing. You can make your own thing.…I just feel like there’s room for all of us to do well. Let other people make money and make a way for themselves. But again I really don’t know what her intention was when she purchased from me.”