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No Kim K, the Japanese aren’t having it! While Kim Kardashian has proven herself to be business-savvy, her latest endeavor got some major backlash. Critics are now accusing her of culturally appropriating the Japanese with “Kimono Solutionwear,” her upcoming underwear line. Here, she’s offering a skin-toned array of bodysuits, bras, panties, and the like.

The reality TV star turned to her social media last June 25, 2019, to introduce her new label. “Finally, I can share with you guys this project that I have been developing for the last year,” she shared on a Twitter post. “Kimono is my take on shapewear and solutions for women that actually work”. Even though ‘Kimono‘ is an actual term that means “clothing” it’s mostly referred to as a specific garment. A ceremonial garb that reaches down to the ankles and is fastened with an ‘obi’ belt.

Despite the relative commonality of the word, the Kimono holds significant weight in Japanese culture. These days, brides choose it as their wedding gowns, women wear it as formal-wear, and even dignified officials don it when representing the country internationally. Moreover, members of the Japanese Royal Family also wear the garment during their official appearances. Beyond a fashionable and elegant attire, the Kimono is one of many symbols that the Japanese, and to an extent even other Asian nationals, highlight to pay credence to their cultures and traditions. This is why for Kardashian to nonchalantly use it for her own fashion line raised a lot of eyebrows.To make matters worse, she’s even attempting to put a trademark on the term as part of her new brand. Apart from ‘Kimono Solutionwear,’ she’s planning to release ‘Kimono Body,’ ‘Kimono Intimates,’ and ‘Kimono World’ as well. Subsequently, none of these even come close to looking or evoking the same spirit as the traditional dress. And they all led to millions of Twitter users calling her out with accusations of cultural appropriation on social media, under the hashtag #KimOhNo. They highlighted the extremely inappropriate and insensitive nature of such a business move.

For instance, Twitter user Anatoli Tychala (@AnatolyTychala) tweeted, “Kim Kardashian launched a line of freaking underwear and called it Kimono. Yes, the Japanese kimono. Like how much this disrespect will go on? So disgusting. #KimOhNo.” Fellow user Sarah Kosar (@WynkynDe_Worde), on the other hand, was more skeptical. “For those of you that are wondering, the #KimOhNo fiasco is not some clueless decision on Kardashian’s part. She and her team know exactly what they’re doing, and if you think this was an honest mistake, you’re severely underestimating the lengths that family will go to for money,” she posted.

In response to the backlash, Kim Kardashian has since released an official statement to The New York Times. “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.” she shared. (See her full statement by clicking here). She didn’t, however, change the name of her brand.

Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time Kardashian has gotten into this sort of trouble. She’s made similar missteps before. They range from sporting Fulani braids on the red carpet to accessorizing an Indian headpiece called a ‘maang tikka‘ for a photo shoot. This time, however, she might not slither through the issue just as easily!If you think Kim Kardashian doesn’t have the right to trademark ‘Kimono’ as her own business label, sign our petition at Stop The Kardashians.org. Lend your voice to our cause in upholding an integral part of Japanese culture. Don’t let mainstream commercialism get their hands on it!Image Credits:

  1. Princess Ayako in a Kimono – Harper’s Bazaar.com
  2. Kim Kardashian in Furlani braids – Allure.com
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