Kim Kardashian has responded to claims that she is appropriating Japanese culture with her new shapewear line called “Kimono.”
The reality star filed to trademark the terms “Kimono,” “Kimono Body,” “Kimono Intimates” and “Kimono World,” which are currently under review. When the public learned of the news, and that it was for a line of undergarments, the backlash was swift and strong on social media. Almost immediately, the hashtag #KimOHNo began trending.
Kardashian, in response, gave a statement to the New York Times:
“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. 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.”
A current petition on Change.org petition with more than 28k signatures is currently demanding Kardashian change the name of the company. As of right now, Kardashian has no plans to drop the name.