What Is the Happy Vally Clothing Controversy? Here's What We Know

It's a tangled web that Happy Vally's founders and followers weave.

Jamie Bichelman - Author

May 31 2024, Updated 12:49 p.m. ET

Happy Vally clothing models are pictured in the brand's sweatshirt and sweatpants.
Source: happyvallyclothing/Instagram

With their trendy and affordable clothes, upbeat and enthusiastic personalities, and videos produced at an impressively high quality, the savvy social media (Latter-Day) Saints of Utah seem to make headlines as easily and quickly as they produce popular influencers.

When fashionable brands like Happy Vally become embroiled in the center of controversy, social media followers develop an unquenchable thirst to learn the tea of who's to blame, what they did, and why they did what they did.

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Redditors, TikTok users, and Utah mommy blogger followers are wondering what the Happy Vally controversy is about. Therefore, we tapped into our social media sleuthing skills, investigated the comment sections of Happy Vally-related videos, and sought to answer the question regarding what started the Happy Vally clothing controversy.

Happy Vally sweatshirts are pictured in various colors with the brand name on them.
Source: happyvallyclothing/Instagram
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What is Happy Vally clothing brand?

The Happy Vally clothing brand was launched by Utah influencers Miranda Hope McWhorter, Camille Munday, and Taylor Frankie Paul in January 2022, per McWhorter's TikTok account. As fashion and lifestyle influencers who incorporate their children into their popular videos, the three are fitting exemplars of the "Utah mommy blogger" moniker.

The name of the brand appears to be a nod to Happy Valley, a nickname for Utah County. According to the Utah Valley University newspaper UVU Review, this is where about 90 percent of the Latter-Day Saints, aka Mormons, live.

Some of the products available on the Happy Vally website include knitted hoodies for adults and kids, vintage tees, and "throwbacks."

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What is Happy Vally clothing controversy?

It appears the Happy Vally clothing controversy stems from one of the three founders, Taylor Frankie Paul, engaging in both unlawful behavior and sexual practices that LDS followers publicly frown upon.

According to a New York Post report months after the Happy Vally launch in 2022, Taylor Frankie Paul shared on a TikTok livestream that she and her then-husband engaged in what is referred to as "soft swinging," thereby exposing an apparent secret within the deeply religious community.

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The Mormon community, followers of "MomTok," and the gossip-loving public were all understandably aroused with curiosity, condemnation, confusion, and contempt for Paul and then-husband Tate Paul.

"The whole group was intimate with each other," Paul is quoted as saying on the livestream. "Tate has made out with several girls and other things, and I’ve made out with all of the husbands and vice versa.”

Less than a year later, in February 2023, CBS News reported that Taylor Frankie Paul was arrested in conjunction with police responding to a domestic violence call. By the end of the month, she was charged with multiple felonies, including domestic violence in the presence of a child, as well as aggravated assault.

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A few months later in August 2023, Utah-based news station ABC4 reported that she pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, which is a third-degree felony. The remaining charges were dismissed.

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It seems that one controversy begat another for Taylor Frankie Paul, leaving many confused and trying to piece news tidbits together to make sense of it all. Of the 24,000 members belonging to the subreddit for Taylor Paul Drama, many have sought answers to Paul's transgressions and where Happy Vally stands.

Other Redditors recapped the situation, exposing everything from the "soft swinging" to the culture that lent itself to such behavior. Cult accusations of Happy Vally's owners abound.

Adding to the confusion, in September 2023, TikTok user @angellnorton shared a series of cryptic videos seemingly promoting the brand after discovering their clothes at a thrift shop and failing to answer commenters seeking clarification.

She doubled down with another video disputing allegations that the clothes weren't thrifted, as one commenter noted that @angellnorton was previously in an ad for the brand.

A third video in which @angellnorton claimed to return to the thrift store for more Happy Vally finds added more free advertising for the brand. Ultimately, it gave the impression that Paul's drama over the preceding months failed to cast a pall over the brand:

"I got the Happy Vally t-shirt. It's so cute! It doesn't matter what happened after because the quality of all these is so good. It's fine!"

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