TikTok star Tayler Holder is facing criticism over a new line of merch that fans say looks a little too familiar.
“Should I drop the merch this weekend?” the former Hype House member tweeted on Oct. 28. He was promptly met with proof that his latest “under appreciated” drop looks very similar to that of another influencer.
Holder was friends with Corey La Barrie, a fellow influencer who had a merchandise line called “Under Appreciated.”
La Barrie died on May 10 after he and “Ink Master” star Daniel Silva got into a car accident after leaving La Barrie’s 25th birthday celebration. Silva was sentenced to 364 days in jail after pleading no contest to one felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter for La Barrie’s death.
Holder’s merchandise is clearly a play on La Barrie’s with a red line and wings added to the original design. The problem is not with the idea or the merchandise itself — it’s with the fact Holder did not acknowledge La Barrie’s influence in his original tweet or Instagram announcement.
“No, don’t. ‘under appreciated’ is not your brand, it’s corey la barries brand. do not announce it as your new merch collection,” one Twitter user responded. “If it’s a tribute to corey, mention him. give him all the credits, make sure you get permission from his friends and family. it’s not yours.”
“Very original design. totally didn’t steal the under appreciated COREY LA BARRIE MERCH THAT HIS FRIENDS MADE TO HONOR HIM,” another said.
“No. You REALLY shouldn’t. It’s messed up to claim that as your own design and only give a small percentage in honor of Corey. That’s NOT honoring him. Just link Corey’s under appreciated merch instead,” a third wrote.
Following his initial tweet, Holder took to his Instagram story to explain that he worked in collaboration with La Barrie’s family to release his new merch.
“Me and Corey’s family have worked really really hard to perfect this drop and we’re very proud of it,” he said.
Holder also promised that a portion of the proceeds from the merch will go to La Barrie’s family.
In another post, Holder showed off a tattoo that has the same logo that appears on his shirt, which he got in honor of La Barrie.
Fanjoy, a company that serves as a marketplace for merchandise for dozens of popular creators, tweeted a link to La Barrie’s original merchandise collection — the proceeds of which go to FeedingAmerica.org and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
On Oct. 29, Holder shared a video to Twitter in which he met up with La Barrie’s brother and father.
“From the bottom of my heart, I’m so sorry to anyone that I affected with this … it was by far never my intention,” he said. “Corey is a very close friend of mine, he’s literally like family.”
He went on to explain that he and the family had been working on a merchandise line for a while, but when a third party got involved, “it went downhill.”
La Barrie’s father, Simon, thanked the fans for their overwhelming support for his late son, explaining that the backlash Holder faced over the design proved how much people cared.
“He’s probably more upset than we are,” Simon La Barrie said, pointing to Holder. “It’s going to be OK.”
Holder said he planned to “hold off on this drop for now,” but assured fans that he and La Barrie’s family would be working together in the near future.
If you found this story interesting, you might also like reading about a past Hype House merch controversy.
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