Kim Kardashian Defends Trademarking 'Kimono' After Being Accused of Cultural Appropriation
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Kim Kardashian West has responded to all the backlash and accusations of cultural appropriation she's received for naming her new shapewear line Kimono.
Following the Tuesday announcement of her shapewear line, criticism poured in for the 38-year-old reality star's choice of name for her new company. Kardashian West opted to name her company Kimono, a word that is defined by Merriam-Webster as "a long robe with wide sleeves traditionally worn with a broad sash as an outer garment by the Japanese."
In addition to naming her company after the traditional Japanese garment, Kardashian West, according to multiple outlets, has applied to trademark the name in a specific font version of the word.
In a statement to The New York Times, Kardashian West says she actually named her company Kimono as a nod to the traditional Japanese robe.
"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," the statement reads. "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. 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."
Kardashian West's trademark request didn't sit well with many on the internet, who began using the hashtag #KimOhNo and claiming that the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star was appropriating Japanese culture. ET has reached out to Kardashian West's rep for comment.
"My culture is not your plaything," one Twitter user wrote.
"My culture is not your brand generator," another account wrote.
Other online users opted to share photos of themselves in traditional kimonos as a way of explaining their significance to Japanese culture.
The controversy comes at a somewhat ironic time, as just last week, Kardashian West announced that she's set to cover the August issue of Vogue Japan.
In Tuesday's announcement, Kardashian West said that she had been developing the project for a year, but has been passionate about it for 15 years.
"Kimono is my take on shapewear and solutions for women that actually work," she explained. "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."
Watch the video below for another controversy that recently befell Kardashian West.
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