Kim Kardashian West defends Kimono shapewear amidst backlash

Kim Kardashian West defends Kimono shapewear amidst backlash

Kim Kardashian West has denied claims that her upcoming shapewear line culturally appropriates the Japanese kimono. 

In an interview with The New York Times, West says her line called, Kimono Intimates, is meant to be “a nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment.” 

The reality star, makeup mogul and budding lawyer announced Kimono Solutionwear on Tuesday.

The line will come in a range of sizes and colours that West showed off on Instagram.

West has received criticism from people who object to what they say is appropriation of the traditional Japanese kimono in the name of her undergarment line.

She also faces backlash for trademarking a term that some counter is a culturally significant garment in Japanese society.

The criticism has garnered the notice of the mayor of Kyoto. 

In a letter to West, mayor Daisuke Kadokawa expressed concern over the use and monopolization of the kimono in regards to West’s filing of the trademark. 

He also went on to extend an invitation for West to come visit the city and discuss the cultural importance of the Japanese kimono. 

The city of Kyoto is undertaking national initiatives to have “Kimono Culture” registered to The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. 

The list is intended to help show the diversity of a culture and raise awareness about its importance.

Japanese critics on social media said the name is an inappropriate take on centuries-old kimono clothing.

The resulting outrage has been the trending hashtag #KimOhNo and a petition voicing general unhappiness about the name choice of Kimono on change.org. 

There was no word on when the line would go on sale. West said it’s “coming soon.” 

Regarding the trademark, West said in a statement to The New York Times that her filing for the trademark would not, “preclude or restrict anyone — from making kimonos or using the word kimono in reference to the traditional garment.”   

West went on to state that she has, “deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture.”

The kimono has evolved to a style of formal dress worn for special occasions, including weddings, funerals and tea ceremonies. 


CBC | Arts News

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