Kim Kardashian is sticking by her decision to name her new line of shapewear after a traditional Japanese garment. The businesswoman launched her first line of intimates on Tuesday with Kimono Solutionwear and immediately set off a firestorm of critics who were upset that Kim used the term kimono as a play on her name, creating the hashtag #KimOhNo.
Kardashian teased the Kimono Solutionwear brand on Tuesday with an image of the celeb surrounded by other women wearing the shapewear, launching a new website the same day. “Kimono is a new, solution focused approach to shape enhancing underwear, created by Kim Kardashian West,” says the About section on Kimono.com. “Kimono is the culmination of Kim’s personal experience with shapewear and is fueled by her passion to create truly considered and highly technical solutions for every body. Whether the desire is to enhance, smooth, lift or sculpt, Kimono provides superior options for all shapes and tones.” That all sounds great, but we understand why people are upset by the name. We also like Kardashispanx, Kimwear, Karpanties, and Kimberlingerie and they’re only offensive for sounding ridiculous.
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
Could you respect Japanese culture please?#KimOhNo
— 🌸March🌸 (@March_16RK) June 27, 2019
Your efforts are wonderful. But it’s not a kimono! Please think twice about trademark registration with that name! Don’t neglect Japanese traditions!
— オ卜一フ (@w_oioz) June 26, 2019
Why anybody expects the Kardashian’s to be culturally sensitive is a bit of a mystery given their obsession with how things look to the exclusion of all else.
— Cosmic Landmine Ⓥ (@cosmiclandmine) June 26, 2019
This is disrespectful, even by Kardashian standards. Come on.
— Jen Scouler (@jenscouler) June 26, 2019
The whole point of wearing a Kimono is to” hide” feminine body line, by which we won’t be judging a woman from mere fleshly appearance. So, naming underwear as such only shows the namer’s ignorance.
— サミンコフ (@takatwitting) June 26, 2019
Kardashian not only trademarked the name for shapewear, which includes body suits, bras, panties, and one-sided shorts to be worn under slit dresses (okay, that’s brilliant), but also extended the Kimono brand to include Kimono Body, Kimono World, and Kimono Intimates, which could include clothing, fragrance, footwear and more.
Kardashian has now responded to the criticism, speaking with The New York Times and making it clear that she never intended to offend a culture and that she won’t be releasing any clothing that resembles a traditional kimono, which is often worn for formal occasions, including weddings, tea ceremonies, and funerals, as well as holidays and festivals. Kardashians told the NYT that she has no plans “…to design or release any garments that would in any way resemble or dishonor the traditional garment,” adding, “I understand and have deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture.”
A petition on Change.Org calling for Kardashian to change the name of her brand has already garnered more than 25,000 signatures, but it looks like Kim is sticking with the ‘ono.’ Not only is it unfortunate for obvious reasons that Kardashian chose a name that is culturally insensitive, but the name controversy also does a disservice to the line by pulling the attention away from its positives. Kardashians’ shapewear collection is one of the most inclusive we’ve seen, with sizing from XXS to 4XL and availability in nine colours to help customers find an item that matches their skin tone.
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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. I would always cut up my shapewear to make my own styles, and there have also been so many times I couldn’t find a shapeware color that blended with my skin tone so we needed a solution for all of this. The third pic is the solution short. I developed this style for all of those times I wanted to wear a dress or skirt with a slit and still needed the support. Introducing Kimono Solutionwear™ for every body. Coming Soon in sizes XXS – 4XL in 9 shades. I can’t wait for you to feel this fabric!#KimonoBody @kimono Photos by Vanessa Beecroft