Kim Kardashian West backs down over ‘Kimono’ lingerie range
(CNN) — Kim Kardashian West has backed down over plans to launch a “Kimono”-branded lingerie line, after the naming of the new range prompted accusations of cultural appropriation.
In a statement published on Twitter and Instagram, the reality TV star said “after careful thought and consideration, I will be launching my Solutionwear brand under a new name.”
On June 25, Kardashian West announced the launch of a new line of flesh-colored shapewear called “Kimono.”
She also appeared to have trademarked the word “kimono” — according to Business Insider, a search of the online database for the United States Patent and Trademark Office revealed that Kimono Intimates Inc. applied to trademark a specific font version of the word.
Originating in the Hakuhō (Early Nara) period (645-710), the kimono is an ankle-length gown with long, wide sleeves and a V- neck. With neither ties nor buttons, it is tied left over right across the chest and secured at the waist with a broad sash called an an obi.
The launch met with an immediate backlash from people of Japanese heritage around the world, with many expressing their disapproval using the Twitter hashtag #KimOhNo.
San Francisco-based Yuka Ohishi, who tweeted about the controversy, told CNN: “I was not very pleased by companies using the word kimono to market beach cover-ups and robes. And then Kim Kardashian went to a whole new level by simply using the word as a pun. Her line is not at all inspired by the Japanese kimono, pays no respect.”
The mayor of Kyoto, Daisaku Kadokawa, wrote an open letter to Kardashian West urging her to “reconsider” the line.
“We think that the names for ‘Kimono’ are the asset shared with all humanity who love Kimono and its culture therefore they should not be monopolized,” Kadokawa wrote.
In a statement Monday, the reality TV star responded: “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.”
She said she named her products “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,” she wrote.