Viewers of the U.S. reality show, Miami Ink, will well remember the colorful tattoo artist, Kat von D. Since airing of the show, Ms. Von D. has expanded her professional repertoire. Her venture into the cosmetic industry has ignited a firestorm through the seemingly innocuous subject of lipstick naming.
The Sephora brand lipsticks inspired by Kat von D have received product names that many consumers consider grossly offensive. According to a 2015 article in the UK magazine Business Insider, one of the offending product names is “Underage Red.” A look at the Sephora lip color line-up quickly reveals other potentially injurious onomastic product choices. For example, the matte lipstick in the color of “dusty rose,” has been named Lolita and is described on the website as being “a cult favorite.”
In the social media, the response to the company’s line-up has been less than favorable among some shoppers. As one twitter-user posted with disgust: “[…]Do they have a whole sex offender line?”.
Although it is not known at this time whether Sephora plans to change its product-naming policy, Kat von D’s initial response was…well …catty. According to the Business Insider, her first reaction to the criticism, she tweeted back: “At the end of the day, it’s just a [EXPLETIVE] lipstick!” Since then, the tattoo artist has become more diplomatic in her response, but still refuses to apologize for the name-choice, arguing that her intentions have been entirely misunderstood.