Kat Von D says 'influencers' made her want to sell her beauty brand

·3 min read
Kat Von D has shared why she decided to step away from her beauty business. (Photo: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Kat von D Beauty)
Kat Von D has shared why she decided to step away from her beauty business. (Photo: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Kat von D Beauty)

Kat Von D has some major plans for the future — but they don’t include her eponymous beauty brand.

On Jan. 16 the tattoo artist announced that she’s sold her stake in Kat Von D Beauty, the vegan and cruelty-free makeup range known for its statement red lipsticks and super-precise eyeliners. Kendo, which is taking over the brand, has renamed it KVD Vegan Beauty.

Von D’s statement about leaving the brand referenced her shifting priorities as a new mom in the midst of a vegan shoe collection launch and plans to pursue a career in music.

“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,” she told fans. “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.”

But there’s more to it, according to the 37-year-old businesswoman’s appearance on Hillary Kerr’s Second Life podcast on Monday. Von D (born Katherine Von Drachenberg) hinted that she felt alienated by the beauty industry’s focus on influencers and the pressure to look a certain way.

“It’s been 11 years, and I am proud of what we’ve done but I think that the beauty industry is changing so much and for a moment there, I feel like I did find my place in the industry, and I think the older I get I realize that I don’t know if I fit into it anymore,” she told Kerr.

“It’s a culture thing now, you know, where we have influencers that are just continuously telling you what you have to buy, and if you don’t, you’re not cool, or whatever it is. Or hey, this is what beauty looks like. It kind of throws me back to how I felt when I was a kid. I feel like I’ve stepped away from it a lot, partially on purpose and the other part of it is obviously, after having the baby ... my kind of focus is just changing and simplifying a lot more.”

Her reference to influencers isn’t a surprise, as the former L.A. Ink star has butted heads with YouTubers and makeup artists in the past. In fact, just last week, her friend-turned-foe Jeffree Star and YouTuber Shane Dawson mocked Von D in video footage.

“She needs work,” Star joked of his former pal, with whom he had a public falling out in 2016. “She has a baby now; she needs work."

But Von D apparently has plenty to keep her busy. In addition to launching her high-end vegan shoe line, she plans to release her album in the spring, followed by a world tour with husband Rafael Reyes and 1-year-old son Leafar in tow.

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