It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Kim Kardashian-West since revealing her new shape wear line, Kimono. The brand, which has yet to be released, sees a new line of shape wear products in a variety of skin tones and shapes. Fans and critics took to social media to respond to the brand’s name in droves, highlighting the issues with appropriating the name of a traditional ceremonial garment as a line of underwear. Now, Kardashian-West has opted to rename the line to avoid any additional controversy surrounding the name and trademark.
Issues With The Name Kimono As A Brand
While it may not seem like a big deal to use the name Kimono as a brand name for shape wear on the surface, the legal implications of the name make it much worse than simply appropriating a type of clothing. Kardashian-West filed to trademark the name “Kimono” in relation to her brand in order to own the rights to anything associated with the name. Since a kimono is a traditional Japanese garment used in celebrations and ceremonies, it would have had major legal implications for any company that tried to sell a garment using the same name. Yep—that includes the traditional kimono garment.
Fans responded to the brand’s name on social media with mixed feelings. Many liked the line of shape wear itself, but not the name of the brand. “Leave it up to Kim k to culturally appropriate Japan’s culture. Btw she also trademarked it. She has no brain cells. A kimono is not form fitting/show off the body’s shape. Quite the opposite of what she’s trying to sell. And to call it underwear.
#KimOhNo” wrote a user named @leo_thelion1004 on Twitter earlier this week. Many users shared the same sentiments toward the line. The hashtag “#KimOhNo” gained popularity following the announcement of the line to highlight the issues with the name.
Kyoto Mayor Speaks Out
Even the mayor of Kyoto chose to speak out against the line. In an open letter to Kardashian-West, mayor Kadokawa Daisaku wrote to the reality TV star and entrepreneur to ask her to reconsider naming her line something else. “Kimono is a traditional ethnic dress fostered in our rich nature and history with our predecessors’ tireless endeavors and studies, and it is a culture that has been cherished and passed down with care in our living,” wrote the mayor in an open letter. “Also, it is a fruit of craftsmanship and truly symbolizes sense of beauty, spirits and values of Japanese,” the mayor continued.
Kardashian-West previously spoke out in support of the line, saying that she will not be changing the name of the line. However, the open letter from the mayor convinced Karsdashian-West to change the name of the line. “I am always listening, learning and growing – I so appreciate the passion and varied perspectives that people bring to me. When I announced the name of my shapewear line, I did so with the best intentions in mind,” Kardashian-West wrote in a Tweet. “My brands and products are built with inclusivity and diversity at their core and after careful thought and consideration, I will be launching my Solutionwear brand under a new name. I will be in touch soon. Thank you for your understanding and support always,” she continued in her announcement made via Twitter.