Kim Kardashian Addresses Kimono ‘Cultural Appropriation’ Controversy

Kim Kardashian West attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City.
Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

Kim Kardashian is facing intense backlash for cultural appropriation after naming her new shapewear line Kimono. The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star is addressing the controversy after the backlash continued to grow over the days since she announced the release of her new fashion line.

According to The New York Times, Kim says that while the Kimono name is a play on her first name, it’s also “a nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment.” She also said that she doesn’t have any plans to change the name of the brand.

“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.

The hashtag #KimOhNo started trending on Twitter after Kim announced the name of her brand on June 25, as The Inquisitr reported. Critics say that her use of the term is cultural appropriation, and others express concern with the fact that she trademarked the name given the important place that the kimono garment holds in Japanese culture. Yoshifumi Nakazaki, the deputy director general of the Japan Kimono League, said that trademarking the term is “unthinkable” to Japanese people.

She said that the trademark “does not preclude or restrict anyone, in this instance, from making kimonos or using the word kimono in reference to the traditional garment,” she noted.

She also told the NYT that the application involves a specific font that husband Kanye West designed, and not the word itself.

Still, many people took issue with the fact that Kim is using the term in association with underwear, noting that they feel it is disrespectful.

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The shapewear brand includes bras, underwear, bodysuits, briefs, and shorts, but Kim says that she has no plans to release a garment inspired by the kimono.

“I understand and have deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture and have no plans to design or release any garments that would in any way resemble or dishonor the traditional garment,” she said in the statement.

Kim added that she is proud of her brand and that she wants it to be all about inclusivity and diversity. Some people have praised the makeup mogul for the wide range of sizes and colors included in the line, including Chrissy Teigen, who shared her excitement for the launch on Twitter.