The "KUWTK" star received major backlash on social media -- particularly from Japanese people -- after releasing her new shapewear brand, Kimono, on Tuesday.
While some critics are simply not into the collection itself, it's the brand's name, Kimono, that has really stirred controversy -- as the shapewear line shares the same name as the traditional Japanese garment.
"Finally I can share with you guys this project that I have been developing for the last year," Kim tweeted Tuesday. "I've been passionate about this for 15 years. Kimono is my take on shapewear and solutions for women that actually work."
She added, "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 [sic] color that blended with my skin tone so we needed a solution for all of this."
According to the photos Kim released on her social media and on the brand's side, Kimono Solutionwear consists of bodysuits, high-waisted underwear, and one-legged shorts.
Despite the line being size and color inclusive, many people are not happy with Kim's new business venture and see the appropriation of the word kimono as an offense against Japanese culture.
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.
A Japanese kimono can be a long robe with wide sleeves or worn as a jacket and is often tied together with a sash.
According to the LA Times, Kim has already filed to trademark "Kimono," "Kimono Body," "Kimono Intimates" and "Kimono World." Although the majority of applications involve clothing (ex. shapewear, lingerie), other products made of leather, including handbags, dog harnesses and whips are also included under the trademarks awaiting review.
Many people, particularly those who are Japanese and wear or have worn real kimonos, blasted Kim's shapewear line on social media calling it "simply ignorant," "inappropriate" and "culturally offensive."
"Naming your product/startup with Japanese words might seem hip and all, but it really sucks for us when our culture is diluted by names of brands that don't have anything to do with what the word actually represents," a woman named Yuka Ohish tweeted. "And better yet, trademarking it? F NO."
"Our traditional garment is not spandex. It is not a beach cover up," she added. "It is not something you should use to make a cute pun with your name and slap on a trademark."
Yuko Kato, a BBC News Japanese editor, also ripped Kim on Twitter, writing, "Nice underwear, but as a Japanese woman who loves to wear our traditional dress,👘 kimono, I find the naming of your products baffling (since it has no resemblance to kimono), if not outright culturally offensive, especially if it's merely a word play on your name. Pls reconsider."
She added, "Basically, what you're doing is creating a line of underwear and calling them, 'traditional Japanese garments'. Is that what you're aiming for?"
We have reached out to reps for Kim Kardashian seeking comment.
Check out the backlash, below.
Naming your product/startup with Japanese words might seem hip and all, but it really sucks for us when our culture is diluted by names of brands that don't have anything to do with what the word actually represents. And better yet, trademarking it? F NO.https://t.co/8pFaEGdXI2
A little more context for why I think this is problematic.
"We wear kimonos to celebrate health and growth of children, coming of age, celebrating engagements and marriages, graduations, at funerals. It's celebratory wear, and has significance to our culture." pic.twitter.com/hBA7PWbwgl
Nice underwear, but as a Japanese woman who loves to wear our traditional dress,👘 kimono, I find the naming of your products baffling (since it has no resemblance to kimono), if not outright culturally offensive, especially if it's merely a word play on your name. Pls reconsider
Or, are you intentionally taking a Japanese word of specific and extreme cultural significance, stripping away its meaning, and appropriating it for your brand? I do hope not, but intentional or otherwise, that will be the result. That's why many Japanese are crying foul.
I feel very sad that the name “Kimono” is being used to something completely different from what we Japanese know about it. Kimono is Japanese traditional clothes and we are very proud of its history and culture. I'm sorry but I feel this name choice is simply ignorant. #KimOhNo
I feel your passion and love on your new project. However, I'm afraid the inappropriate naming might deteriorate our traditional "Kimono" culture. To make your project go well, I'm wondering if you have any chances to change the name since it has nothing to do with our culture. pic.twitter.com/9ypxByXHcS
I understand your passion for the project, but the name of your brand is ill-advised. Kimono is a long-standing tradition; you cannot copyright cultural heritage. To name shapewear for your namesake without considering its cultural origins is inappropriate. Please reconsider. pic.twitter.com/6JwRuJr8NX
This isn't the first time Kim has been accused of cultural appropriation. Back in 2018, the KKW founder was hit with backlash when she wore Fulani braids to the MTV Movie and TV Awards. Also, in 2018, Kim was slammed for not only wearing blonde cornrows but calling them "Bo Derek" braids.
Then in April, Kim was ripped for wearing traditional Indian gold maang tikka jewelry to one of Kanye West's Sunday Services.