The reality TV star has attempted to trademark a particular font version of the word "kimono"— but a lot of people are upset by the move, as the shapewear has nothing to do with the Japanese garment of the same name.
The traditional kimono originated in Japan as early as the 7th century and is a robe characterized by its ankle-length fabric, "T" shape and accompanying sash. To this day, they are still worn during special events in Japanese culture.
In recent years, the term has been adopted in the western world to describe open, flow-y cardigan-like jackets, but people seem to be particularly annoyed at Kardashian's co-opting of the phrase since the Kimono line has absolutely nothing in common with the original garment. Hell, it's not even a good Kim-related pun.
Finally I can share with you guys this project that I have been developing for the last year.— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 25, 2019
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
As such, some have criticized Kardashian's decision to stick the term "kimono" on her products and trademark the name as cultural appropriation.
See some of the less-than-enthused responses 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.— Yuka Ohishi (@0oyukao0) June 25, 2019
And better yet, trademarking it? F NO.https://t.co/8pFaEGdXI2
I've said this before and I'll say it again.https://t.co/bqnRe0InDX— Yuka Ohishi (@0oyukao0) June 25, 2019
Our traditional garment is not spandex. It is not a beach cover up.— Yuka Ohishi (@0oyukao0) June 25, 2019
It is not something you should use to make a cute pun with your name and slap on a trademark.
A little more context for why I think this is problematic.— Yuka Ohishi (@0oyukao0) June 26, 2019
"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
Kimono: has a centuries long rich history and is deeply embedded in the traditions and culture of a country.— Kyla Hsia (@kylahsia) June 26, 2019
Kim Kardashian: OMg It hAs mY nAmE iN iT!#Kimohno
Kim, I'm sure your shapewear's nice, but please don't take the name of a beautiful, traditional Japanese wardrobe and use it for your undies. This is me in various kimonos over the years. Hairstyle may not be traditional, but my kimonos sure were! 👘 #KimOhNo pic.twitter.com/5Z4uKwro6B— Yoko Moncol (@NotLikeYokoOno) June 26, 2019
This is #kimono I wore to my wedding. I'd like Kim to imagine how she'd feel if someone treated her wedding, prom or baptism dresses as lingerie.— Misako Oi (@misakohi) June 26, 2019
"Kimono" are not just clothes but are a symbol that evokes precious memories and important life events. #KimOhNo pic.twitter.com/gD2KrTzsLR