Lizzo’s brand Yitty faces criticism from gender-affirming clothing company

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Lizzo’s brand Yitty faces criticism from gender-affirming clothing company

Lizzo’s shapewear brand Yitty is facing criticism from a gender-affirming clothing company after announcing a new inclusive collection.

Last Thursday, Lizzo’s shapewear brand Yitty announced on social media that it would be launching the gender-neutral Your Skin line, which includes binding tops and tucking thongs, in the summer of 2023.

However, Urbody — a trans- and queer-women-owned and operated business — has since accused Yitty of basing its new line of products on the brand’s gender-affirming underwear and activewear without giving them credit. Urbody also said Yitty ignored its offer to partner with them despite the two companies meeting.

On Friday, Urbody wrote on Twitter that Yitty ordered a “full-size run” of its compression tops in 2022 and used them to develop its own gender-affirming garments.

“We wish we could’ve celebrated along with our community,” the first tweet from Urbody said. “Instead, we’re left asking questions. And as an advocate for inclusivity, they’re questions that we think you’ll have too.”

“We emailed to open the door @Yitty to speak up for trans folks who’d been doing this work to be at the table of #YourSkin from the beginning,” Urbody wrote in its second tweet.

Representatives for Lizzo and Yitty did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

When asked for comment on the matter, Urbody directed Insider to a statement posted on the brand’s website on Tuesday. In the statement, Urbody said it reached out to Yitty’s parent company, Fabletics, after the order was placed to “understand how they might be committed to developing products with trans fashion experts at the core of a line ostensibly aimed at our community.”

“We didn’t hear back,” the statement continued. “It was only in early 2023 after the Fabletics team placed another order — this time for an assortment of our tucking garments — that we heard back. We wrote to them about our story, the heart and soul that we’ve put into building our company in partnership with other trans folks, and our sincere hope that a large brand wasn’t attempting to profit off of our community’s hard work without proper recognition or collaboration.”

In its statement, Urbody added that when they “finally got a meeting to discuss their line,” they were surprised that they didn’t see members of the trans “community represented on the [Fabletics] team.”

After, Urbody’s statement said, they “followed up multiple times” to share “a proposal for how we could partner” with Fabletics but were “largely ignored and brushed off — despite the Yitty team previously sharing that trans community insight was a gap for them and a key learning opportunity.”

Writing on Twitter on Friday, addressing Yitty, Urbody said that “it wasn’t until yesterday, when you announced #YourSkin (a line developed using our designs for R&D), that we were asked for ‘consultation services’ to further the success of @lizzo’s brand.”

Urbody then tagged Fabletics and noted the dangers of “rainbow capitalism,” or using the LGBTQ community to gain monetary and social capital.

“With the rise in anti-trans legislation & rhetoric, rainbow capitalism is more dangerous than ever,” the tweet said. “You need to recognize trans people beyond the value of our money. If you want to market to us as a community you must take a stand for our safety, security & survival.”

In its website statement, Urbody also said trans experts should “be the backbone” of the Your Skin line.

“If Yitty and Fabletics are going to make trans folks the face of the Your Skin line, the trans community should be the backbone — whether that’s the Urbody team or other trans experts,” the statement read. “We think Yitty has gotten a lot of things right, from amplifying Lizzo’s platform to prioritizing size inclusivity — which makes it all the more disappointing to see this opportunity undercut by our experience.”

“We admire Lizzo and how she’s been an advocate for inclusion, and we believe she’d be empathetic and aligned with us if she knew this backstory,” the statement continued. “We want to bring this matter to her attention. And more importantly, we want to stand up for trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people everywhere who deserve better.”

This isn’t the first time Lizzo’s Yitty has come under fire. In March 2022, the singer was criticized by some on social media for creating a shapewear company. Some argued that shapewear — often worn to achieve the look of a smoother or slimmer body — is antithetical to body positivity, which Lizzo is known for. In an Instagram post at the time, the Yitty owner said the brand wasn’t “just shapewear, it’s your chance to reclaim your body and redefine your beauty standard.”

While Urbody has drawn attention to its recent criticism of Yitty on social media, the brand has also faced backlash of its own.

Specifically, consumers questioned why Urbody garments are not sold in sizes larger than 2XL. Some also pointed out that Yitty offers up to a 6X in its products. Urbody has not publicly responded to such comments on Twitter or Instagram and did not address the criticism when Insider asked for comment on the matter.

Lizzo also hasn’t commented on the situation but has previously been vocal about trans issues, including transphobia.

In a series of tweets written back in March, the musician said that she’s “never heard a reason why someone is transphobic.”

“I think if we knew ‘why’ these people felt this way there would be way less support for these ideals,” she wrote. “Because the ‘why’ is more insidious than we realize.”

She then added: “Don’t get it twisted — I don’t care why people are bigoted. That’s a waste of my imagination. I feel like there’s a lot of complicit silence and apathetic participation going on that wouldn’t fly if people knew more.”