#KimOhNo: Kim Kardashian West renames Kimono brand amid outcry

Days after announcing the launch of her new shapewear line, Kim Kardashian West said that she will be changing the name of the Kimono brand.

Kardashian West faced a storm of criticism over the name of the brand, with critics complaining her choice of “kimono” disrespected Japanese culture and disregarded the significance behind the traditional outfit.

“I am always listening, learning and growing – I so appreciate the passion and varied perspectives that people bring to me,” Kardashian West wrote on Twitter. “When I announced the name of my shapewear line, I did so with the best intentions in mind.”

Kim Kardashian West

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. I will be in touch soon. Thank you for your understanding and support always.

July 1, 2019

Yuka Ohishi, a San Francisco-based videographer who helped spread the hashtag #KimOhNo, decrying the brand’s name.

In the days following the brand’s launch, Ohishi tweeted statements like, “Our traditional garment is not spandex. It is not a beach cover up. It is not something you should use to make a cute pun with your name and slap on a trademark.”

Ohishi told the Guardian she hadn’t been expecting Kardashian West to give in to the pressure.

“Given her and her family’s past of appropriating cultures, I had little hope that she would reconsider the brand name,” Ohishi said.

“I am annoyed that there was no apology, but I think this is still one of the best outcomes possible from the horrible situation,” Ohishi added. “[Kardashian West] says she has respect for the Japanese culture, but this was just simply not the right way to express that and make ‘a nod’ to it.”

Ohishi hoped that in the future, celebrities and brands would think twice and “do their research to understand what cultural significance items or concepts have”.

“Diversity and representation is very different from cultural appropriation, and it’s going to be an ongoing conversation for all of us,” she said.

Yuka Ohishi


Kim Kardashian announced on her Instagram that she is changing the name of her brand, #Kimono.
No apology made, but I’m impressed she made this decision. Let’s hope the new name is a good one…!?

Thanks again for all the support on this. #KimOhNo pic.twitter.com/Ej1OnlIjuJ

July 1, 2019

Daisaku Kadokawa, the mayor of Kyoto, wrote a letter to Kardashian West last week, asking her to reconsider the trademark on Kimono. His staff is working to register “Kimono Culture” on UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list, he said.


Dear @KimKardashian ,
I’m a dancer of Nihonbuyo; Japanese traditional dance in kimono.

Kimono is not your underwear.

Please change the name. Do not take kimono away from us.#kimono #kimOhNo #notyourunderwear #kimonotimes pic.twitter.com/vFi1aKyQPo

June 28, 2019

“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,” Kadokawa wrote.

“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.”


Dear @KimKardashian Kimono is our precious culture that means so much to us than you think. This is Kimono that our heart belongs to. You disrespect not only us but our Japanese ancestors who preserved kimonos today. Reconsider the name, please. #KimOhNo #Kimono pic.twitter.com/34Hnd2mmcn

June 29, 2019

Kardashian West has not yet announced what she will be renaming the shapewear line.

The reality TV star and trainee lawyer’s new line is a collection of skin-tone colored shapewear that she claimed to have been working on for a year. Kardashian West provided no explanation for the use of the word “kimono”, but it appeared to be a play on her first name.


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