Kardashian to Rename Kimono Brand in Wake of Backlash

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Tamlyn Tomita posted an image of herself and her mother in kimono on Twitter to protest Kim Kardashian for trademarking “Kimono” for her new line of shapewear.

Kim Kardashian West announced Monday that she would change the name of her upcoming shapewear line Kimono Solutionwear after facing intense backlash.

The reality star posted on Instagram, “When I announced the name of my shapewear line, I did so with the best intentions in mind. My brands and products are built with inclusivity and diversity at their core and after careful thought and consideration, I will be launching my Solutionwear brand under a new name.”

Kardashian West’s decision followed a letter on Sunday from Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa, who emphasized the importance of kimono to Japanese culture.

“We think that the names for ‘Kimono’ are the asset shared with all humanity who love kimono and its culture therefore they should not be monopolized. I would like you to visit Kyoto, where many Japanese cultures including kimono have been cherished, to experience the essence of Kimono Culture and understand our thoughts and our strong wish,” Kadokawa stated.

Last week, Kardashian West announced she was launching a line of shapewear called “Kimono,” which would be for women of different body types and skin tones. The reality star’s latest venture was met with accusations of cultural appropriation and insensitivity.

On Twitter, users used the hashtag “KimOhNo” to voice their complaints.

Ayaka Shimoo posted photos of herself in kimono and wrote: “This is kimono. I’m so proud of this as one of (the) traditional cultures in Japan. Kimono is NOT underwear.”

Actress Tamlyn Tomita posted a photo of herself and her mom in kimono and said: “One is KIMONO. One is Kim shamelessly selling a line of shapewear. Which y’all don’t need.”

Image from a Change.org petition titled “Protect Kimono | Spread Its True Lineage 「きもの文化」のユネスコ無形文化遺産登録!真の着物文化を広めよう”

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Full text of the letter from the mayor of Kyoto:

Ms. Kim Kardashian West
Kimono Intimates, Inc.

I am writing this letter to convey our thoughts on kimono and ask you to re-consider your decision of using the name Kimono in your trademark.

Kimono is a traditional ethnic dress fostered in our rich nature and history with our predecessors’ tireless endeavours and studies, and it is a culture that has been cherished and passed down with care in our living. Also, it is a fruit of craftsmanship and truly symbolizes sense of beauty, spirits and values of Japanese.

In recent years, we see not only Japanese but also many foreign tourists wearing kimono and strolling around in Kyoto and cities in Japan. It is a proof thatkKimono, that we are proud of as our traditional culture, is loved by people from around the world.

We are currently undertaking initiatives nationally to make “Kimono Culture,” symbol of our culture and spirits, registered to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. We think that the names for “kimono” are the asset shared with all humanity who love Kimono and its culture therefore they should not be monopolized.

I would like you to visit Kyoto, where many Japanese cultures including Kimono have been cherished, to experience the essence of Kimono Culture and understand our thoughts and our strong wish.

Yours Sincerely,

門川大作

Daisaku Kadokawa
Mayor of Kyoto

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