Kim Kardashian West’s newly unveiled shapewear brand ‘Kimono’ has received a furious backlash from Japanese people accusing her of being “ignorant” and “butchering [their] culture.”
The reality TV star launched a Spanx-like brand on Tuesday to “celebrate and enhance the shape and curves of women.” However, the brand name ‘Kimono’ seems more a play on the label founder’s name rather than any link to the traditional Japanese garment, which has gone far from unnoticed online.
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.
Photos by Vanessa Beecroft pic.twitter.com/YAACrRltX3
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 25, 2019
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
— Yuko Kato (@yukokato1701) June 26, 2019
Following the announcement, Japanese people took to social media to slam the star and her perceived ignorance, or lack of respect, for the wide-sleeved robe, worn in Japan to mark special occasions since the 16th century.
Critics called out Kardashian for tastelessly diluting the kimono name and “butchering Japanese culture” with a “simply ignorant” brand name choice. Many also tried to counteract the world’s new introduction to the word by sharing photos of the traditional garment with the caption ‘This is kimono.’
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