What’s in a name? A whole lot of drama, it seems. Kim Kardashian was accused of ‘cultural appropriation’ after naming her new shapewear line ‘Kimono,’ but Kim says she ‘respects’ Japanese culture.
Kim Kardashian, 38, announced her new line of “solutionwear” on June 25, and almost immediately, she came under fire after some fans found out she named her shapewear “Kimono.” While the name is, as The New York Times notes, is in line with her other brands — Kimoji and KKW Beauty — some accused her of cultural appropriation and of disrespecting the significance of the kimono, as it’s importance to Japanese culture cannot be understated. Fans also dragged the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star after learning she applied for trademarks for her Kimono line. In response to all the backlash, Kim insists that everyone has it wrong. “My solutionwear brand is built with inclusivity and diversity at its core and I’m incredibly proud of what’s to come,” she said in a statement to The New York Times.
“I understand and have deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture,” she said, adding that she has no plans “to design or release any garments that would in any way resemble or dishonor the traditional garment.” Kim also clarified while she picked that particular name for the new line. “I made the decision to name my company Kimono, not to disassociate the word from its Japanese roots but as a nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment,” she said, per E! News. She also said she has no plan to change the line’s name.
As for Kim Kardashian trademarking the word “kimono,” she explained that it was more from a business than a cultural standpoint. “Filing a trademark is a source identifier that will allow me to use the word for my shapewear and intimates line but does not preclude or restrict anyone, in this instance, from making kimonos or using the word kimono in reference to the traditional garment,” she said in her statement. Remember, Kim is working to become a lawyer, and after a few decades in marketing herself, she knows her way around a trademark or two.
This was not the first, nor will it be the last, time that a Kardashian was accused of cultural appropriation. Khloe Kardashian came under fire in November 2018 after she and True Thompson took a picture wearing bamboo hats while on a trip to Bali. Kendall Jenner – who is not black – was criticized in October 2018 over a Vogue photo that depicted her with a poofy, afro hairstyle. Speaking of hair, let’s not forget all the times a KarJenner was seen in box braids, cornrows, and Bantu knots.