It was just last week that Kim Kardashian West unveiled her new shapewear line, but it was the name of it that riled up the masses. Kimono was meant to be a take on the reality star’s name but many objected to her cultural appropriation of the traditional Japanese garment. But it seems that with enough pressure, Kim will eventually back down.
Kardashian West took to Instagram on Monday to announce that she has decided to change the name of her Kimono Solutionwear. But that wasn’t always her intention. Days after the release of her newest line, Kardashian West responded to the Kimono controversy and defended the name, explaining to the New York Times that while she has a deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture, she had no plans to change the brand’s name or “design or release any garments that would in any way resemble or dishonor the traditional garment.” She added, “My solutionwear brand is built with inclusivity and diversity at its core and I’m incredibly proud of what’s to come.”
Well, after a few more days of sitting on it, not to mention the hashtag #KimOhNo that was making its way around Twitter as well as that Change.org petition, Kim had a change of heart and decided that it would be best for everyone that she launch the brand under a new name. She didn’t reveal when those changes would be made or what the name would be updated to, just that she “will be in touch soon.” It will likely be another riff on Kardashian’s name, keeping it consistent with her other brands, KKW Beauty and Kimoji.
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Being an entrepreneur and my own boss has been one of the most rewarding challenges I’ve been blessed with in my life. What’s made it possible for me after all of these years has been the direct line of communication with my fans and the public. 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. 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.
The reason Kim changed her mind might not exactly be for selfless reasons but, rather, perhaps she got word that Japan is ready to dispatch patent officials to the U.S. next week to discuss her attempt at trademarking the word “kimono.” According to CNN, Japanese trade minister Hiroshige Seko acknowledged on Twitter that, yes, Kardashian West is renaming her brand but he would still be sending officials over for a meeting at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on July 9, simply as a means to monitor the situation in the future.
— 世耕弘成 Hiroshige SEKO (@SekoHiroshige) July 2, 2019
“The kimono is regarded around the world as a distinct part of our culture,” he said In a press conference on Tuesday. “Even in America, kimono is well known to be Japanese.” Kim said that she’s always named her products “with the best intentions in mind.” Hmm, maybe this was simply a one-off.