Kim Kardashian drops Kimono name amidst cultural appropriation accusations

Kim Kardashian Kimono

Kim Kardashian Kimono — Kim Kardashian is currently at the center of a controversy. Her underwear brand Kimono is accused of cultural appropriation. She has therefore decided to drop name.

Selecting a suitable name to baptize a new firm can both catapult a project and kill it before it is even born. Not even Kim Kardashian is exempt of that rule as she recently found out.

The entrepreneur and influencer announced Wednesday the launch of a line of tightening underwear. The Kardashian head figure claims that the new garment “stimulates the shape and curves of women” and does not cause marks under one’s clothing. An ingenious design solution that the instagramer has decided to baptize as “Kimono Solutionwear”, something that has not been received very well in Japan.

Indeed, for some, Kim’s choice of naming the new line of products Kimono is cultural appropriation. The kimono is a traditional garment from Japan. A petition was thus launched to change the name of the brand.

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The petition received no less than 118,000 signatures. And that’s not all. In addition to the Japanese community, the authorities have been involved. Indeed, the mayor of Kyoto, Daisaku Kadokawa has reacted to controversy, addressing Kim Kardashian directly in open letter.

“It’s a traditional ethnic dress that occupies a special place in our nature and our history. It is the fruit of the efforts and studies of our ancestors and is part of our culture. We think that the term “kimono” is an object of sharing with humanity,” the mayor wrote.

Beyond the simple name (for which Kim Kardashian had already bought the url before retracting), it is mainly the applications for registration of the mark and its logos in the United States that had caused the anger of the internet. The wife of Kanye West had indeed asked to file patents several variations on the name of the brand (“Kimono”, “Kimono Body”, “Kikimono”, “Kimono World”) and its design.

“In recent years, we have seen, in addition to the Japanese, tourists wearing kimonos to walk in Kyoto, and other cities in Japan. This is a proof that kimono […] is loved all over the world,” said Kadokawa, before announcing that he wanted this tradition to be part of UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage.

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In a statement quoted by the New York Times, Kim Kardashian explained that she had chosen the name Kimono precisely because it represented “the beauty and delicacy in the making of a garment” and stated that she had no intention of “selling clothes that would look like or dishonor traditional clothing”.

In the night from Sunday to Monday however, the businesswoman finally announced that she had renounced the name due to the controversy: ” 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,” she says. ” I will be in touch soon. Thank you for your understanding and support always.”

The launch of this line of underwear is scheduled for the month of July.

Angie Mahecha

Angie Mahecha, an Engineering Student at the University of Central Florida, is originally from Colombia but has been living in Florida for the past 10 Years.