It is no secret that the fashion world has often culturally appropriated items and styles from various marginalized cultures. Fans are now holding fashion lines and icons to a higher standard when it comes to this, and with the added accessibility of social media, companies and designers can be held accountable easier than before.
Kim Kardashian is no exception to this.
The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star received some serious backlash this week when she announced that the name for her new shapewear line would be “Kimono.” Though Kardashian intended for the word to be a play on her name, like her lines Kimoji and KKW Beauty, she was quickly hit with criticism for calling the line (which is essentially underwear) the same name as the traditional Japanese garment.
Kardashian finally addressed these critiques on Thursday in a statement to The New York Times. She stated that the name meant to double as “a nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment,” such as the traditional Kimono, not as an insensitive robbing of Japanese culture.
Kardashian added, “My solutionwear brand is built with inclusivity and diversity at its core and I’m incredibly proud of what’s to come.”
Kimono, which has sparked the hashtag #KimOhNo, is set to be released in July…that is if Kardashian can make it out of the gate. A petition was started yesterday by Sono Fukunishi, who wrote in the petition description that the name is a "horrible cultural disrespect."
Over 29,000 people have already signed it.
Kardashian didn’t make mention of changing the name of the line, but rather stuck by her admiration for Japanese culture. She stated, “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.”
We will see if Kardashian’s apologetic statement does anything to stop the rage of those complaining.