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Why Kim Kardashian’s New Shapewear Line is Causing Controversy


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Kim Kardashian West announced her latest business endeavor via Twitter, debuting a line of shapewear called Kimono, ranging in various styles and shades of nude. Many voiced their opinions on the brand’s name on social media, calling it culturally insensitive.

Kardashian West has made it no secret over the years that she frequently wears shapewear in her day to day life. She revealed years ago in a post on her app that she sometimes wears two pairs of Spanx to achieve the hourglass shape she is known for. As well, she has endorsed the brand, Waist Trainer, a modern day corset.

Kardashian West stated on twitter, “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.”
The line consists of one-piece bodies suits, seamless bras, high-waisted underwear and high-waisted, asymmetrical shorts intended for skirts or dresses with high slits.

The website for Kimono states, “Kimono is the culmination of Kim’s personal experience with shapewear and is fueled by her passion to create truly considered and highly technical solutions for every body. Whether the desire is to enhance, smooth, lift or sculpt, Kimono provides superior options for all shapes and tones.”

Kardashian West told The New York Times that the brand name is “a nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment.” However, when she attempted to trademark the name, many were critical of Kardashian West’s attempt to exert control over this traditional Japanese term for clothing, fearing the trademark could restrict Japanese designers from using the word, despite it being native to their culture.

The negative response to the Kimono brand extended beyond the general public, reaching the Mayor of Kyoto, Japan, Daisaku Kadokawa. He stated in an open letter to Kardashian West, posted on Facebook, “We think that the names for ‘Kimono’ are the asset shared with all humanity who love Kimono and its culture therefore they should not be monopolized.”

Kardashian West responded to the backlash, telling The New York Times, “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…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.”

Photo Source: Kim Kardashian West’s Instagram and Twitter

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