Last week, Kim Kardashian West launched a new line of “solutionwear” called Kimono, aimed at modernizing the world of shapewear with “solutions that actually work.” The beauty mogul’s other brands, Kimoji and KKW Beautyriff off her first name as well—but without referencing an age-old, traditional Japanese garment.
The surmounting backlash to the brand’s name, which includes Kim’s name but also aligns historic and traditional Japanese clothing with undergarments, prompted a reaction from Kim Kardashian West today. The beauty, fashion, tech, and reality TV entrepreneur announced that she plans to relaunch the line under a new name in the coming weeks.
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Being an entrepreneur and my own boss has been one of the most rewarding challenges I’ve been blessed with in my life. What’s made it possible for me after all of these years has been the direct line of communication with my fans and the public. I am always listening, learning and growing – I so appreciate the passion and varied perspectives that people bring to me. When I announced the name of my shapewear line, I did so with the best intentions in mind. 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. I will be in touch soon. Thank you for your understanding and support always.
Despite Kim’s original comments that she had no plans to rename the brand, Kardashian West’s posts on Instagram and Twitter noted that her direct communication with her audience resulted in her decision to rebrand: “I am always listening, learning and growing — I so appreciate the passion and varied perspectives that people bring to me. When I announced the name of my shapewear line, I did so with the best intentions in mind. 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. I will be in touch soon.”
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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
At launch, Kimono’s imagery featured a range of women (including Kim herself), highlighting the range of flesh tones (nine shades to be exact) cuts, and sizes the brand would offer, ranging from XXS to 4XL, according to E! News. But the diverse size and color range soon got lost in the growing controversy about the brand’s name.
The brand will likely include all its original colors, shapes, and sizes at relaunch—like the “solution short” featured in Kim’s original launch post, which she says is for “all of those times I wanted to wear a dress or skirt with a slit and still needed the support.”
In the midst of fans distaste about Kardashian West’s choice of name, one fan stood out: Chrissy Teigen, who responded to the launch announcement on Twitter: “”Oh my god I don’t have to cut one side of my spanx anymore!!!!!”
When Kardashian West spoke to The New York Times in the wake of the cultural appropriation controversy, she explained that the collection’s name was meant to be “a nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment.” She added at the time that she had no plans to change the brand’s name in response, and that she also had no plans to release an actual kimono, or any garment resembling one. Kardashian West also told The New York Times, “My solutionwear brand is built with inclusivity and diversity at its core and I’m incredibly proud of what’s to come.”
But the backlash continued, especially when those offended by the brand’s name learned that Kardashian West had applied to trademark it. Last Thursday, a change.org petition was created by Sono Fukunishi, which read:
Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) filed trademarks for “Kimono Body”, “Kimono Intimates” and “Kimono World”. She has trademarked a word of huge cultural significance in Japanese culture.
As a Japanese person, I wear Kimono everyday, and I do not wish to share the word with an underwear brand. “Kimono” means “clothing” in Japanese.
This is our culture, and I would like to show how many of us do not appreciate this!
Please sign the petition and together, we will take action to change this horrible cultural disrespect.
The petition currently has 127,380 signatures, and joins the legions of others speaking out on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Kimono was originally slated to launch in July, and per Kim’s note, will likely still do so—but under a new moniker.