Kim Kardashian has broken her silence over the controversy surrounding her recently unveiled shapewear collection which she has bafflingly dubbed “Kimono Solutionwear.“
Finally I can share with you guys this project that I have been developing for the last year.
I’ve been passionate about this for 15 years.
Kimono is my take on shapewear and solutions for women that actually work.
Photos by Vanessa Beecroft pic.twitter.com/YAACrRltX3
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 25, 2019
The new line, which Kardashian revealed on Tuesday as a project she supposedly has “been passionate about for 15 years,” was widely criticized for alleged cultural appropriation.
Absolutely tasteless and awful. You have ZERO respect to the Japanese culture, do you. What’s wrong with you.
I’m from Japan. For us, Kimono represents the beauty & elegance of the country’s tradition. Your spandex underwear brand has nothing to do with it. I’m offended.
— TrinityNYC (@TrinityNYC) June 25, 2019
Online, netizens also blasted her for filing a trademark for the word ‘Kimono,’ which was taken from the Japanese traditional clothing.
Nice underwear, but as a Japanese woman who loves to wear our traditional dress,👘 kimono, I find the naming of your products baffling (since it has no resemblance to kimono), if not outright culturally offensive, especially if it’s merely a word play on your name. Pls reconsider
— Yuko Kato (@yukokato1701) June 26, 2019
Kardashian had reportedly filed to trademark “Kimono” and variations of the name, such as Kimono Body, Kimono World, and Kimono Intimates.
Naming your product/startup with Japanese words might seem hip and all, but it really sucks for us when our culture is diluted by names of brands that don’t have anything to do with what the word actually represents.
And better yet, trademarking it? F NO.https://t.co/8pFaEGdXI2
— Yuka Ohishi (@0oyukao0) June 25, 2019
Based on the filing, a wide range of products under the Kimono brand will be sold in the future, including lingerie, luggage, fragrances, and sandals.
On Thursday, the name of the shapewear line has inspired the hashtag #KimOhNo, which became a trending topic on Twitter.
This is “Kimono” I wear. Your underwear is very nice, but please do not register it as Kimono. Please do not monopolize our Japanese culture Kimono as your trademark. #kimono #KimOhNo pic.twitter.com/oWqRpI1IR5
— マ 〽︎一葉乃舟なれや。 (@mr2k4tr) June 26, 2019
A Change.org petition demanding Kardashian to change the name has so far generated over 30,000 signatures as of this writing.
“I do not wish to share the word with an underwear brand,” the petition read. ‘Kimono’ means ‘clothing’ in Japanese.”
Based on Kardashian’s recent statement, however, it is apparent that she intends to keep the Kimono name despite the widespread calls for her to rename her shapewear line.
After staying silent on social media, Kim responded to the backlash via a statement to The New York Times.
According to Kim, she had named the line Kimono as a “nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment.”
She added that she has no intention of ever selling anything that would “resemble or dishonor” the traditional Japanese clothing.
“I understand and have a deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture,” she further stated.
Addressing the issue of trademarking the name, Kardashian explained that it was meant to be a “source identifier” which she would use for her shapewear and intimates line. She added that she wouldn’t “preclude or restrict anyone, in this instance, from making kimonos or using the word kimono in reference to the traditional garment.”