Taylor Swift trolled for possibly copying Kenzo video (update)

taylor snake

I find the Snake Fam exhausting, but they were out in full force to defend the Queen Snake yesterday. Apparently, it’s totally awful to point out that Taylor Swift is a bad dancer. The Snake Fam screamed from every corner of the internet: “she’s supposed to be dancing awkwardly, that’s the whole point of her completely ironic dancing!” But wait… was she ironic dancing in Look What You Made Me Do? Or End Game? Or any of the other videos that feature her flailing, poorly timed dance moves? Fair enough if you say that it’s ALL ironic dancing, that she knows she’s an awkward dancer. But I disagree. I think the Snake believes she is accomplished enough as a dancer to “dance awkwardly” in one video and “dance sexily/fiercely/Beyoncely” in another video. And that’s what’s funny to me. Once again, here’s the “Delicate” video:

Many people pointed out the similarities between that video – directed by Joseph Kahn – and the Spike Jonze-directed ad for Kenzo from 2016:

That’s Margaret Qualley, otherwise known as the current Snake Enemy #1, probably. Anyway, it turns out Kenzo thinks there’s a striking similarity too:

A Kenzo rep even playfully posted, “Listen Tay, I feel you. It’s hard to stay fresh. Call us, we can help.”

But a source close to Swift defended the singer, saying her video has a “beginning, a middle and an end,” plus multiple locations. Either way, perhaps Jonze lifted his own idea? From his 2001 Fatboy Slim classic featuring Christopher Walken.

[From Page Six]

“It’s hard to stay fresh”
is an excellent burn, in my opinion, because it’s actually a legit criticism of this entire album: does any of this really feel “fresh”? Now Kenzo is the #1 enemy of the Snake Fam!! As for the excuse that the video has a “beginning, a middle and an end”…??? I don’t know. Whatever.

Update: Page Six has changed their article from quoting a “Kenzo rep” to “One top fashion PR pro who’s worked with Kenzo.” They also added the line “Kenzo said it had no comment on the video.” Apparently that person was not an official Kenzo rep and Page Six got the memo.


Photos courtesy of Tay’s ‘Delicate’.

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120 Responses to “Taylor Swift trolled for possibly copying Kenzo video (update)”

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  1. Kate Widdleton says:

    The dress and hair combo in this video makes her look like Tonya Harding. Not flattering choices, lol

    Also, she’s been stealing lyrics and video ideas from other artists for years so I don’t expect she’ll face much pushback for this.

    • Suki says:

      All artists steal and borrow. Literally, all of them. There is nothing that is completely new, it’s just trying to do something that’s been done in your own way.

      • Char says:

        @Suki Some people get “inspired”, some just steel, like Taylor and Beyonce.

      • Frizzy and frazzled says:

        It’s true, Beyoncé and Michael Jackson borrowed heavily from Fosse. Michael Jackson’s smooth criminal is almost verbatim Fosse down to the costume, and Single Ladies is based on a Fosse number too.

        I don’t follow Taylor Swift and therefore am Swift neutral and was expecting horrible dancing. But watching the video it seems like she is an Ok dancer following that kind of contemporary choreography you see on So You Think You Can Dance – lots of jangly shoulders and elbows and bent ankles. It’s an awkward style and not particularly suited toward someone with her long lean frame.

  2. Gutterflower says:

    Dancing aside, it’s just a shitty video all around, and I embarassingly enough like her music.

  3. Slowsnow says:

    How to stay “fresh” mix up the Kenzo add, the Fatboy Slim videos (Push the Tempo and Weapon of Choice) with a mix of Chandelier and you’re good to go!

    I know we hate a lot on her here but I think she is a part of a dying breed of talentless stealers of real creative people. Her, Miley, Timberlake, Perry etc.

    Thank heavens new good pop music is HERE with the likes of Jorja Smith, Dua Lipa, all the rappers and grimers, Portugal the Man, The Wknd, Marshmello, Cabello etc. We’re coming out of a tragicomic era of really bad pop.

    • Neelyo says:

      Robyn, Tove Lo, AlunaGeorge, Roisin Murphy, Charli XCX and Carly Rae Jepsen have all been putting out excellent pop music for several years but you never hear about it because they don’t fit the commercial mold. A few of the them have been getting more exposure and I hope that continues.

  4. Aiobhan Targaryen says:


    Wait. The best comeback the source could come up with is that Spike stole from himself.

    This is sad. Nothing about imitation is a form of flattery or some other bs. Just out right deflection.

    I like that Kenzo kept it cute and to the point. Good for them.

  5. Tanesha86 says:

    Yikes they definitely ripped off that Kenzo video, even down to the green dress

    • Miss Melissa says:

      The Kenzo video is awesome.

      Margaret Qualley is Andie McDowell’s daughter, right?

      PS, Margaret, unlike Taylor, is a trained dancer. It’s not a mystery why one video worked and one didn’t.

      • Beatrix says:

        Right. Can I just say Margaret is such a revelation? I’m usually very judgmental about nepotism, but this lady is so talented. She is stunningly beautiful, it’s hard to look away when she’s on screen and she evokes such artistry without any of the arrogance or entitlement we see from the other kids of famous people in her age-group. I look forward to seeing more of her artistic choices in the near future.

      • willowisp says:

        Heidi Bivens was costume designer on the Kenzo video and even designed the shoes. Qualley is gorgeous.

    • Olive says:

      but isn’t the Kenzo video just a fashion version of the Fatboy Slim music video for “Weapon of Choice” featuring Christopher Walken dancing in a hotel lobby?? That was directed by Spike Jonze too, so he was just recycling his own ideas for the Kenzo video.

      • wowza says:

        I wouldn’t call it regurgitating his own ideas so much as dance has always been a big theme for Spike. He just did that piece with FKA Twigs for Apple. The “Praise You” vid is an early example (and personal fave).

        I feel like the Kenzo ad says something really different than the “Weapon of Choice” video. What’s cool about the Kenzo ad is that the girl seems really demented and animalistic. She’s licking things, destroying things, attacking that man. It says so much that Taylor wanted to do *that* but cutesy. With all the edges sanded off, it’s meaningless.

    • Rose says:

      Umm Taylor’s dress is blue in the video (and it’s super ugly)

    • SK says:

      Yes Margaret Qualley is a trained ballerina. She’s also a great actress. The cinematography, direction, art design, set design, and general idea is all better in the Kenzo ad. Tay’s is a sad copy that is held back by the lack of commitment to the weirdness and Tay’s bad dancing, bad acting, and the uninspired direction, cinematography, choreography, art design, etc. Plus the fact that it’s been done before and much better of course.

  6. Rapunzel says:

    This is the problem with white bread. It goes stale. Taylor Swift is no exception.

  7. grabbyhands says:


    Kenzo’s response was hilarious (also, speaking of Kenzo, everyone needs to listen to the track that Michael Kiwanuka and Karen O did for the latest campaign because it is awesome) .

  8. runcmc says:

    I am NOT a Taylor fan but I’m going to give her this…she didn’t write and direct her video right? So her video director should be bearing the brunt of the criticism (not for the dancing – for ripping off the Kenzo video)

    God I hate defending her.

  9. Talie says:

    That Kenzo commercial made a big impact when it came out, that’s why it was so foolish to copy it. I mean, I knew from the first frame that it all looked very familiar.

  10. CKY says:

    I’m pretty sure Kenzo just wants tay’s business.

  11. PPP says:

    Can we acknowledge that Margaret Qualley is actually a legit dancer in that video? She’s trained and it shows. I guess if you know nothing about dance and see that video, you can think of it as awkward white girl dancing, but you have to squint reeeeeally hard.

  12. Clare says:

    3..2..1… to Kenzo/Kardashian Kollaboration

  13. Lindy79 says:

    I don’t like her music normally but this, I like. It could be anyone singing it though, it’s the tone and beat I like.

  14. Monsy says:

    I haven’t seen the Kenzo commercial before. And wow, i’ts a shameless copy.

  15. RBC says:

    Cue the “ taking a break” rumours starting soon…

  16. Rachel says:

    The woman in the Kenzo video is a great actress and clearly a trained dancer. Comparing the two, the difference in talent and professionalism is clears.

  17. Snowflake says:

    I think it was supposed to be silly, awkward dancing. But I also think she can’t dance and that’s how she dance. This white bread can’t dance either.

  18. Kitty Barthes says:

    Keno used to be good and now they are starting Twitter fights.

    There are no original ideas left.

  19. Babs says:

    I don’t care about the rip off part. I mean, the Smooth criminal short movie is a rip off but it’s damn great. But this video? Just whack. She sucks as a person, she sucks as an artist, the singing sucks, the dance sucks, the imagery sucks, and I’m mad at this botched, half-assed rebranding.

  20. Bishg says:

    I’ve watched the video a second time and it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
    It never ceases to be embarassing.
    Taylor making faces is the lowest point of it all. It’s not funny, it’s not endearing.

  21. Bridget1224 says:

    Wow…Just watched this, so awkward and cringe-inducing. Holy shit.

  22. Nicole says:

    Yea my friends who saw the video said it was a straight rip off and they were right.
    The shade from that statement is hilarious

  23. Lena says:

    The way I see it, the music video is obviously derivative – but since Kenzo add is not the only influence, Kenzo people do come across a bit too smug. As a matter of fact, it is Taylor who should be smug, because everyone is talking about the MV, which is, if you think about it, quite a feat – that something so bland and uninspired should create so much interest.

  24. Corrine says:

    I feel like she’s trying to dance like Lorde… and Lorde she is not.

  25. Dids says:

    Will we ever see a video that is not all about her? It’s getting old…

  26. wowza says:

    I just looked it up– this vid was directed by Joseph Kahn, the same guy who does all her vids.

    I feel like Taylor should really, really ditch this guy. The dude can obviously direct, as in all his videos are hyper-glossy and technically proficient (“Look What You Made Me Do” “Wildest Dreams” etc).

    But!!! His vids really suck in terms of having any heart or sincerety at all. This most recent vid is such a good example of that. I didn’t know the Kenzo ad, but in makes so much sense that Taylor’s vid is a direct copy, because it feels emotionally confusing, like an imitation that isn’t hitting the right beats.

    What if Taylor got out of her comfort zone and asked Spike Jonze to work with her on an original idea? I don’t know if he would do it, but it’s worth a shot. Or any number of interesting music video directors. There’s some cool stuff happening in that medium right now, with the internet– feels like there’s a lot of creative, young directors pushing the limits. I suspect that the thing with Joseph Kahn is he allows Taylor a lot of control, and that results in this sanitized, emotionally out-of-touch stuff Tay keeps putting out there. I think a new perspective in her music videos could do a *lot* to help her image, because this Kahn guy is still cultivating the same distant, phony aesthetic and it’s really not doing Taylor any favors.

    • wowza says:

      ^^ I say all of this as someone who loves a lot of Taylor’s new album (once you get past “Look What You Made Me Do” and the Future verse haha) and feels like it offers a way more honest vision of the complicated, petty, angry Taylor behind the public persona. In a good way! It feels more raw and real, like her early torch songs before she realized she was problematic and started course correcting in a really misguided way. I feel like the music videos don’t match that new honesty, at all!

    • jammypants says:

      Kahn has hardly any original ideas either. I enjoyed the Look video, but the rest? Ideas/mood boards taken from Terminator, Ghost in the Shell, even a Calvin Harris video, and now this Kenzo rip-off. The guy doesn’t even try.

    • Dianr says:

      Well didn’t the director say it was Taylor’s concept? Which in hindsight after this kerfuffle is probably not a good look. It’s kind of amusing if he said it before the copying backlash came up.

  27. Catherine says:

    That Kenzo commercial is wild AF. And I want to recreate it next change it get!! God help us all

  28. Cee says:

    OMG it’s the exact copy of the Kenzo ad!!! And please, she thinks she can dance. There’s chorepgraphy in this video. She tries. The fact she keeps on failing is another thing altogether.

  29. Brazilianchick says:

    In 2015 I went to Rock in Rio to see Bruno Mars, Taylor was also performing so I tought, I’m already here might as well watch the concert.
    I left after 15 minutes, watching her on stage was making me want to die from second hand embarrassment.
    Seeing her dance was so hard it hurt!

  30. Lithe says:

    As always, y’all are brutal with the screen grabs. I love it! :)

  31. Megan says:

    First of all, never heard of Kenzo and never seen the video before this.

    Second, that Kenzo video is a blatant ripoff of the Fatboy Slim video.

    Furthermore, Charlie Puth’s video for How Long is pretty similar to both of the above.

    Finally, the Delicate video was pretty unoriginal.

    I’m giving this whole controversy a big shrug.

  32. Daisy says:

    Both Taylor and Joseph Kahn are insufferable and think they are way more talented than they actually are, so I understand why they get on so well. It’s also not the first time one of their videos was accused of copying others.
    And btw Spike Jonze directed both the Fatboy Slim video and the Kenzo ad. Swifty and Kahn could’ve just said they got inspired by those videos, but I guess that’s too difficult for them

  33. MoAnne says:

    When you get burned by Kenzo, it’s time to step away. I didn’t think the original was that great, either. Worse yet–is ripping it off.

  34. Veronica says:

    I figured it was a nod to the old Fatboy Slim video, but man…that’s not even subtle. Somebody really needed to do their homework before green lighting that.

  35. me says:

    She’s not the only singer to ever “copy” other’s work…and she won’t be the last.

    • bikki says:

      well, that’s her prerogative. doesn’t mean she (or any other artists that lazily and blatantly copies) won’t receive backlash. girl aimed… and missed.

      personally, I just found her video boring. then again, I honestly don’t think I’m her target demographic anymore (was I ever?).

  36. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I don’t like either version. Tay’s is ludicrous (even though she’s trying to be silly), and the commercial is poor execution of an idea that might have had somewhere to go. But it definitely inspired Tay’s version, and that’s business suicide.

  37. ChillyWilly says:

    Tay-Tay makes me wanna barf-barf but just learned Margaret Qualley is Andie McDowell’s daughter?! I loved her on The Leftovers and this Kenzo ad is amazing.

  38. Digital Unicorn says:

    Margaret Challey is not only a trained dancer but she also improvised a lot of the routine in the video. Tay tay in comparison was choreographed within an inch of her life and STILL couldn’t pull it off. Taylor thinks she can dance but she’s just another mediocre white girl whose Daddy bought her a record company.

  39. No Doubtful says:

    Christopher Walken did it better than either of them!

  40. gingersnaps says:

    I steer clear of whatever this snake is selling so I can’t comment on her video/dance as I will not voluntarily watch it but I did enjoy that Kenzo ad.

  41. Lexa says:

    I think the Kenzo ad is the obvious influence, but parts of it also reminded me quite a bit of the video Emma Stone did for the song “Anna” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QFvgHIJrEQ

  42. Shannon says:

    I honestly don’t like either of them. They both remind me of the Sia videos, only not as good.

  43. magdalena says:

    I will definitely buy the Kenzo World now! :)

  44. Elsher says:

    I don’t know about any of this but that kenzo video was dope.