Kim Kardashian West to rename Kimono shapewear line following backlash

Her about-face comes days after the mayor of Kyoto, Japan, asked the reality television star in an open letter to reconsider using the name Kimono.
2018 Tiffany & Co. Blue Book Gala
Kim Kardashian WestSteven Ferdman / WireImage

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By Janelle Griffith

Kim Kardashian West announced Monday that she would launch her shapewear line, originally named Kimono Solutionwear, under a new name after facing backlash.

Her about-face comes days after the mayor of Kyoto, Japan, asked Kardashian West in an open letter to reconsider using the name Kimono.

“Kimono is a traditional ethnic dress fostered in our rich nature and history with our predecessors’ tireless endeavors and studies, and it is a culture that has been cherished and passed down with care in our living," Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa, who is known for wearing kimonos while carrying out his mayoral duties, wrote in a letter to Kardashian West dated Friday. "Also, it is a fruit of craftsmanship and truly symbolizes sense of beauty, spirits and values of Japanese."

Kardashian West addressed the controversy Monday in a series of tweets.

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"Being an entrepreneur and my own boss has been one of the most rewarding challenges I’ve been blessed with in my life," the reality television star wrote. "What’s made it possible for me after all of these years has been the direct line of communication with my fans and the public."

Kardashian West said she is "always listening, learning and growing" and appreciates "the passion and varied perspectives that people bring to me."

"When I announced the name of my shapewear line, I did so with the best intentions in mind," she wrote.

She said her brands, which include KKW Beauty, "are built with inclusivity and diversity at their core and after careful thought and consideration," she will be launching her solutionwear brand under a new name.

Last week, Kardashian West revealed her latest venture, a collection of skin tone-colored shapewear. She shared a series of photos from the collection that is offered in sizes XXS to 4XL.

She received widespread criticism and faced accusations of cultural appropriation.

The name Kimono inspired the hashtag #KimOhNo. A petition was launched on change.org by Sono Fukunishi, a Japanese woman who was among those incensed to learn Kardashian West had applied for trademarks for her Kimono line.

Kimono is "a word of huge cultural significance in Japanese culture," Fukunishi wrote on the petition, which garnered more than 120,000 signatures.

"As a Japanese person, I wear Kimono everyday, and I do not wish to share the word with an underwear brand," Fukunishi wrote.