When Kim Kardashian announced her new shapewear line called Kimono (as a play on her first name) on June 25, some expressed concern over use of the term for the traditional Japanese garment, even spawning the hashtag #KimOhNo on Twitter. And now Kardashian has responded.
On June 27, the businesswoman addressed these critiques in a statement to the New York Times, which reads: “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. 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. 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. My solutionwear brand is built with inclusivity and diversity at its core and I’m incredibly proud of what’s to come.”
This comes in response to fan comments questioning the use of the word on her original social media announcement. For example, user @takano_meg commented on Twitter, “For Japanese, Kimono is really important culture and we are proud of having this culture. Even now, I often wear Kimono not only special events but also normal days. I hope everyone know Kimono as a Japanese traditional and beautiful clothes…”
Still others praised the mogul’s attention to inclusiveness (the line includes nine colors to match various skin tones and sizes ranging from XXS to 4XL).
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