When one mentions the Kardashians, there is a high probability that questions like “What happened with them?” or “What did they do now?” will be asked, even in the privacy of a listener’s thoughts. That came into play once more last week, when Kim Kardashian-West introduced a line of seamless shape-wear for the public. It should have been so simple, but Kardashian gave her underwear line the name “Kimono,” after the Japanese traditional costume. The country in question was indignant, along with many social media commentators around the world. While Kim initially stood fast her chosen name, by this week she has taken it back.
CBS News has it that as of Monday, July 1, Kim Kardashian-West has given up the fight to retain the name “Kimono” as a brand for her flesh-toned seamless shape-wear product line. This was due to the rising accusations of cultural appropriation, again due to the name coming from the Japanese garment. Japan had been particularly vocal with their protests at the name use, which Kardashian tried to defend at first. Ultimately she yielded to the inevitable pressure and announced the name change on her official Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Kim began her social media statement by reiterating that she only had the best intentions when she called her shape-wear series “Kimono.” However in light of the negative reception that name will no longer be used. On multiple tweets she stated, “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.” Kardashian added that the Kimono stumbling block was ultimately just another one of the challenges she constantly faces as an entrepreneur, adding that life as “her own boss” has been blessed by such setbacks.
The kimono (Japanese for “thing to wear on shoulders”) is the general term for the robe garment worn in Japan for centuries past, and remains a regularly-worn traditional outfit for special occasions or as a mark of status. The clothing is for both men and women, cut and decorated appropriately for gender. A number of high-ranking Japanese officials have called out Kim Kardashian-West for the misappropriation of the name, among them Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa of Kyoto, the ancient Japanese capital.
While for Kim the matter of the name for her seamless underwear line is now settled, the Japanese government is taking further action by sending a delegation from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Patent Office to liaison with their US counterparts regarding the apparent trademarking of “Kimono” for Kardashian’s now-abandoned branding purposes.
Image courtesy of Newshub NZ