Defined as a “a long robe with wide sleeves traditionally worn with a broad sash as an outer garment by the Japanese” by Merriam-Webster, the word “kimono” has historically conjured up a very distinct image.
But Kim Kardashian would really like to change that.
The reality TV star has announced the launch of a new shapewear line with the name “Kimono Solutionwear.”
“Finally I can share with you guys this project that I have been developing for the last year,” she told fans on Tuesday. “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 shapewear color that blended with my skin tone so we needed a solution for all of this.”
Her mother and manager, Kris Jenner, commented on the post, describing the range as “literally a game-changer!”
Kimonos first came into being during the Heian period in Japan between 794-1192, providing a garment that was easy to fold and could be worn in all weather by layering. The straight-line design of the kimono meant — somewhat ironically, perhaps — that kimono makers did not have to worry about trying to fit the wearer’s body as closely.
TMZ reported that Kardashian began seeking to trademark “Kimono Intimates” in 2018.
The phrases “Kimono,” “Kimono World” and “Kimono Body” also appear to be awaiting review for trademarks.
Many on social media are calling the trademark move culturally insensitive.
“Absolutely tasteless and awful,” wrote one commenter. “You have ZERO respect to the Japanese culture, do you. What's wrong with you?”
But why would Kim call her shapewear line Kimono as if Kimonos aren’t an entirely different item of clothing that belong to a cultural group? 🥴— Gravitas (@Afika_Lulo) June 25, 2019
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.— Yuka Ohishi (@0oyukao0) June 25, 2019
And better yet, trademarking it? F NO.https://t.co/8pFaEGdXI2
Other Twitter users pointed out the differences between Kardashian’s pun-inspired Kimono range and actual kimonos.
And one user put it even more simply.
kimono, more like “Kim, oh no”— kinga🐊 (@malechk_) June 25, 2019
This isn’t the first time a member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan has come under fire for trademark attempts.
Kylie Jenner lost her bid to trademark “Kylie” in 2018 when Australian pop star Kylie Minogue took issue with the claim. At the time, Minogue’s legal team described Jenner as a “secondary reality television personality.”
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