Kim Kardashian Renaming ‘Kimono’ Shapewear After Cultural Appropriation Accusations

After weeks of public outrage and accusations of cultural insensitivity, Kim Kardashian West is putting the kibosh on the name of her shapewear collection, Kimono. 

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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

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

Posing in maroon spandex, Kardashian West notes on Instagram that her “brands and products are built with inclusivity and diversity at the core […] after careful thought and consideration, I will be launching my Solutionwear brand under a new name.”

“I am always growing, listening, and learning,” Kardashian West says. “I so appreciate the passion and varied perspectives that people bring me.”

Some of those perspectives include that of the Mayor of Kyoto, Daisaku Kadowka. Mayor Kadowka wrote a letter to Kardashian West asking her to reconsider using the name Kimono and explaining, “Kimono is a traditional ethnic dress fostered in our rich nature and history with our predecessors’ tireless endeavors and studies, and it is a culture that has been cherished and passed down with care in our living.” 

Since Kardashian-West announced the name of her shape wear line, critics have been using the hashtag #KimOhNo on Twitter to call her out on cultural insensitivity and appropriation. Many users posted pictures of themselves wearing traditional kimonos, explaining that the garment is a special part of their culture and definitely not up for rebranding as underwear

“Do not take kimono away from us,” wrote one Twitter user. 

After Kardashian West walked back her branding plan, some people applauded her for listening and taking accountability: 

https://twitter.com/rio_jas_1129/status/1145700291922124800

However, not everyone bought Kardashian-West’s apology; some saw it as a shrewd-but-gross marketing tactic: “Ah yes, chaos marketing. Would be nice if marketing strategists could stop making intentionally terrible decisions to garner attention and instead do something wholesome and creative – which will actually get people excited to buy a product.”

https://twitter.com/surudenise/status/1145700106496282626

 

Kardashian West has been accused of cultural appropriation in the past. In June of 2018, the entrepreneur was accused of being “ignorant” when she sported Fulani braids, also known as cornrows, to the MTV Movie and TV Awards.