Kendall Jenner's Tequila Brand Hit With Major Lawsuit

Kendall Jenner decided to step into the alcohol sales arena when she launched her 818 Tequila brand. Prior to creating her own liquor, the model had long been a connoisseur of tequila. "After trying different types, I wanted to make one meant for enjoying with family and friends," she told Elle in August 2021. Her liquor was an immediate success, as 818 Tequila sold out online in only four hours after launching.

The "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" star had stated goals that transcended simply turning a profit. "I'm excited to step into the spirit industry, which has historically been male-dominated," Kendall added. She had consulted with her sister, Kylie Jenner, who advised to focus on the consumers. "Hopefully I can inspire other women to become founders or work in the same field," Kendall told Elle. In several of the model's interviews that followed the launch of her tequila, she mentioned the importance of a female figure in the agave liquor industry. "I wanted to create a tequila brand that was traditionally crafted and delicious with depths of flavor that was also be gender neutral," she told Forbes in December 2021.

It was not all smooth sailing for the brand, as Kendall faced immediate backlash when she starred in an ad for the tequila brand in May 2021. A viral Twitter thread accused the reality star of appropriating Mexican culture. Then, less than a year after hitting shelves, 818 Tequila was hit with a lawsuit.

Kendall Jenner's brand gets sued by another tequila company

A liquor brand based out of Austin, named Tequila 512, sued Kendall Jenner's 818 Tequila for imitating their tequila. In the court documents, Tequila 512 said their brand had been "using a highly distinctive logo and color scheme that has been in place since 2015," per KXAN. They claimed that the name of Kendall's tequila (which is based on an area code), along with the label, was derived from their own. "And out of the entire world of colors and shapes to use for product design, Defendant chose to copy Plaintiff's distinctive black lettering inside a vertical yellow rectangle," the suit alleges while requesting a stop order on 818 Tequila. 

The Austin-based company referenced an instance in May 2021 when Kendall's 818 Tequila just launched. For promotion, they were featured on Kim Kardashian's app "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood," but a bottle of Tequila 512 was placed on the app instead. The lawsuit claims that was either intentional "to further blur the line between the two products," or even Tequila 818 could not tell them apart, per KXAN.

Once the story of the lawsuit hit news outlets, Tequila 512 posted a screenshot on Instagram of a TMZ headline that said, "You Ripped Off 512 Tequila" underneath a photo of Kendall. "No caption needed," the liquor company wrote alongside the photo. In an Instagram post from May 2021, the Texas brand pointed out that their liquor was distilled more times than Tequila 818 while Kendall's brand was twice as expensive.