Kim Kardashian Defends Shapewear Name After Cultural Appropriation Backlash

Kim Kardashian West is expanding her empire with a soon-to-be-released shapewear line, but the announcement was met with criticism due to the product’s name, Kimono.

Kim 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.”

Kim’s use of Kimono, a traditional Japanese garment, met with criticism from fans who felt that use of the term was disrespectful and culturally insensitive. A petition is already circulating online asking her to change the name.

In a statement to The New York Times on Thursday, Kim addressed the criticism, and stood by her choice of title.

According to Cosmopolitan, Kim declared, “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. I made the decision to name my company Kimono, not to disassociate the word from its Japanese roots but as a nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment.”

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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

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

She also clarified her decision to trademark the name. “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.”

Kim spent Thursday evening celebrating her sister Khloé’s 35th birthday. The lavish, pink-themed party featured everything from pink grilled cheese snacks to specialty cocktails and ornate flower arrangements... and a mechanical bull. Kim gifted her little sis with a bedazzled Judith Leiber clutch in the shape of an eggplant.

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