Kim Kardashian West receives backlash for “disrespectful” new shapewear range Kimono


Kim Kardashian West has received criticism over the launch of her new inclusive shapewear brand, Kimono.

Japanese social media users have expressed upset that the trademarked brand disrespects traditional clothing.

The kimono, a long-sleeved robe that’s traditionally tied with a sash, dates back to 15th Century Japan and is an integral part of their culture’s identity. The item is primarily worn for special occasions.

“We wear kimonos to celebrate health, growth of children, engagements, marriages, graduations, at funerals,” one Japanese woman, Yuka Ohishi, told the BBC“It’s celebratory wear and passed on in families through the generations.”

“[This] shapewear doesn’t even resemble a kimono – she just chose a word that has Kim in it – there’s no respect to what the garment actually means in our culture.”

West trademarked the Kimono brand last year in the US and has also filed trademarks for “Kimono Body”, “Kimono Intimates” and “Kimono World”, according to the BBC.

The range is designed to smooth out lines under clothing and is available in nine different shades, spanning sizes from XXS to 4XL.

“Finally I can share with you guys this project that I have been developing for the last year,” the reality TV star wrote on Instagram.

“I’ve been passionate about this for 15 years. Kimono is my take on shapewear and solutions for women that actually work.”

“I think Kim has so much influence on pop culture, I fear there will be people who only know the word kimono as her brand”, said Ms Ohishi.

“I imagine it will have an effect on search results, hashtags, if this brand becomes as powerful as her other ventures.”

The decision to call her new brand Kimono – the name of a traditional garment that’s the opposite of shapewear – seems an ironic move to experts.

Professor Sheila Cliffe, from Jumonji Women’s University, said: “The [aesthetic] of the kimono is graceful, elegant and gentle. It is not overtly revealing or figure-hugging. It wraps the wearer so they are not exposed.”

“If I made a bra and called it a sari… some people would be very annoyed. It shows extreme disrespect…[the Kimono] is an expression of Japanese identity. That word does not belong to Kim Kardashian.”


From Harper’s Bazaar UK

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