Kim Kardashian West is no stranger to controversy so one would assume she’d know the warning signs leading up to a potential dispute. But apparently, even after working on her new shapewear line for the past year, no one told her the name wasn’t exactly the best idea.
It’s called Kimono, and Kim tweeted that the project has been her passion for 15 years and couldn’t be happier sharing her “take on shapewear and solutions for women that actually work.” But some people, particularly those in Japan, have slammed the reality star for disrespecting the traditional garment. A Japanese kimono is a gender-neutral item that literally translates to “thing to wear on the shoulders,” and Kim’s new line couldn’t be anything further from that.
Kardashian West unveiled the Kimono line on Twitter Tuesday night, and the reactions were mixed, at best. The hashtag #KimOhNo became a thing for many users, who asked her to reconsider the name. One user, Yuko Kato, called Kim’s underwear “nice” but found the name “baffling” since it bears no resemblance to an actual kimono whatsoever, also pointing out that it’s “outright culturally offensive,” especially given it’s mere wordplay on Kim’s name. Kato continued, “Basically, what you’re doing is creating a line of underwear and calling them ‘traditional Japanese garments.’ Is that what you’re aiming for?” And Kato went all in, further explaining why “many Japanese are crying foul.” But what might be the worst part is that Kim is even attempting to tradmark the word “Kimono,” and that sound you heard is the Japanese calling Taylor Swift to unite with her army.
Kim Kardashian filed for a bunch of trademarks on the word “kimono” (even for actual kimono), which, if granted, would allow her to ban Japanese companies from using the word “kimono” in America. Somebody call Cool Japan ASAP. 😱😱 https://t.co/1OpWPt2lYJ pic.twitter.com/ieCzKfpeLW
— Tokyo Fashion (@TokyoFashion) June 25, 2019
We’ll see how the trademarking plays out and how Kim responds to the controversy. But it wasn’t all bad press for Kardashian. There are others who are loving how inclusive the sizing is (ranging from XXS to 4XL), the wide range of colours that work with different skin tones, and how there are now options other than Spanx and Knix to choose from. Kimono even offers a piece called the solution short, made for those who wear dresses with single thigh-high slits on one side.
And she definitely made one fan (and friend) happy.
Oh my god I don’t have to cut one side of my spanx anymore!!!!!
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) June 25, 2019
All things considered, Kim’s latest project is a good one, from the size and colour diversity to those details women look for. Now, if she could just change its culturally tone-deaf name to something simple like KKW Shapewear, everyone will be happy.