Stars: they’re just like us. So long as you refrain from looking them in the eye!
We can’t say Kylie Jenner has ever been the most relatable of twenty-somethings. She grew up on reality television, became a makeup mogul as a teenager, and at 21 years old was deemed the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. (Though whether she honestly earned the title is up for debate.)
She was never really a woman of the people, but is she so aloof and untouchable that her employees weren’t even allowed to look at her??
Irene Lopez is a former employee of Spatz Laboratories, where the reality star’s products were made. (Note: Spatz was never owned or directly controlled by Kylie, and a source told The Sun Spatz is no longer her manufacturer.) She spoke with The Sun about the “horrific” conditions of the factory, and the strict rules surrounding the entrepreneur’s visits to the facility:
“She would come by and watch us work to see what we did. Before they would come in our supervisors would tell us, ‘You are not allowed to talk with them, you guys are supposed to keep on working, you guys are not allowed to take any pictures or ask any questions.’ We had to be quiet and continue working. They would come around and just watch us on the machines or filling up the makeup tubes. They wouldn’t talk to us, they never talked to me, they would talk to the leads and just walk around and look at everything. It’s not like she didn’t see what the conditions were.”
Another employee, Martha Molasco, concurred:
“Supervisors would say, ‘Don’t talk to them, don’t even look at them.’ It was messed up. We were doing her product and we couldn’t talk to her. We couldn’t see her. If we’re doing her product and all the work is on us, she should be aware of it.”
An insider for the outlet claimed Kylie and Kris Jenner never gave any instructions to employees of the manufacturer, and may not even have known about the strict rules.
We know for sure the claims about Kylie visiting the factory are legit. She’s shared through the years:
And way back at the beginning…
But the conditions weren’t just oppressive when the boss was in town. It was worse other times, claims Irene:
“The supervisors I had there had been very degrading towards everybody. Everything had to be perfectly made and if it wasn’t they would throw it away in your face like it was trash. If you didn’t go fast enough, you were going to get fired. When I first started, two months in, I wasn’t going as fast as they wanted me to. They would get in my face and say, ‘You’re not going fast enough, you’re not going fast enough.’ I would go to the bathroom crying. It was too much for me.”
She claimed that she only received “five minutes” of training for the position, adding:
“When you did ask questions, you were kind of degraded. It seemed like every question you asked was a stupid question. How are you going to learn if you don’t ask questions?”
Martha alleged medical issues due to the hard labor at the factory, and agreed about experiencing harsh treatment from supervisors. She recalled:
“They would be like, ‘Oh if you don’t do this much by the end you’re going to be laid off or we’re going to call the temp agency to look for someone else.’ It was stressful and demeaning at the same time. I got paid minimum wage. They never offered a raise. … The supervisor told me, ‘You’ve been here two years, I can’t believe you haven’t caught up with the machine, you should be packaging twice as much as these new girls.’ I kind of felt degraded. I’m trying to do the best I can and you still yell at me in front of everybody? I can only do so much.”
Other complaints that Martha and Irene made included having to work 12-hour days while standing, forced weekend hours, extreme temperatures, and an overcrowded workplace. Sounds like some other jobs we’ve heard about recently… *cough*Amazon*cough*
Irene told the outlet she believed conditions are still just as bad, and The Sun highlighted employee reviews and official complaints that referenced injuries and unpaid wages.
It all sounds pretty awful, and honestly — most “influencer” merch is probably made under similar conditions. It might not directly be Kylie’s fault (even the whole eye contact thing), but as the person at the top of the food chain, she surely has sway to make the daily grind better for those on the line creating the products that made her a “billionaire.” Hopefully, there’s an ethical way forward from these sub par conditions — and upon hearing these complaints Kylie herself will address them!
[Image via Kylie Jenner/Instagram]