Kim Kardashian West defends Kimono shapewear amidst backlash
The celebrity says she has 'deep respect' for Japanese culture, in an interview with The New York Times
Kim Kardashian West has denied claims that her upcoming shapewear line culturally appropriates the Japanese kimono.
In an interview with The New York Times, West says her line called, Kimono Intimates, is meant to be "a nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment."
The reality star, makeup mogul and budding lawyer announced Kimono Solutionwear on Tuesday.
The line will come in a range of sizes and colours that West showed off on Instagram.
West has received criticism from people who object to what they say is appropriation of the traditional Japanese kimono in the name of her undergarment line.
She also faces backlash for trademarking a term that some counter is a culturally significant garment in Japanese society.
The criticism has garnered the notice of the mayor of Kyoto.
In a letter to West, mayor Daisuke Kadokawa expressed concern over the use and monopolization of the kimono in regards to West's filing of the trademark.
He also went on to extend an invitation for West to come visit the city and discuss the cultural importance of the Japanese kimono.
The city of Kyoto is undertaking national initiatives to have "Kimono Culture" registered to The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
The list is intended to help show the diversity of a culture and raise awareness about its importance.
Japanese critics on social media said the name is an inappropriate take on centuries-old kimono clothing.
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—@yukokato1701
This is <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/kimono?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#kimono</a> 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. <br>"Kimono" are not just clothes but are a symbol that evokes precious memories and important life events. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KimOhNo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KimOhNo</a> <a href="https://t.co/gD2KrTzsLR">pic.twitter.com/gD2KrTzsLR</a>—@misakohi
I'm a kimono designer.<br>I strongly object to and protest against that Kim Cardasian name her underwear brand <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/kimono?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#kimono</a> and she register trandemark.<br>The history of kimono in Japan is about 1225years.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/%E5%A4%A7%E6%8B%A1%E6%95%A3%E5%B8%8C%E6%9C%9B?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#大拡散希望</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/kimono?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#kimono</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KimOhNo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KimOhNo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/KimKardashian?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KimKardashian</a> <a href="https://t.co/yIVOYXuaRl">pic.twitter.com/yIVOYXuaRl</a>—@mariaria108_new
There was no word on when the line would go on sale. West said it's "coming soon."
Regarding the trademark, West said in a statement to The New York Times that her filing for the trademark would not, "preclude or restrict anyone — from making kimonos or using the word kimono in reference to the traditional garment."
West went on to state that she has, "deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture."
The kimono has evolved to a style of formal dress worn for special occasions, including weddings, funerals and tea ceremonies.
with files from CBC News