Kim Kardashian West named her new line of shapewear Kimono and was accused of cultural appropriation. Kardashian West said the name, which, like her other brands, starts with a “K,” is “a nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment.”
A New York Times article describes the controversy over using the name of this traditional Japanese garment:
“But while traditional kimonos, which date from the 16th century, according to the Victoria & Albert Museum, have many associations, those tend not to involve lingerie, Hollywood celebrities or reality TV. Hence, the problem.”
Kardashian West is unapologetic and plans to continue with the line. She said, “I understand and have deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture.”
The Times article mentions two other brands that haven’t received the same backlash: Kimono condoms, and Kimono Lash. The author considers whether the Kardashians’ use of social media made them both popular and vulnerable.
What’s your view of using the kimono name for a lingerie line?
Assess Kardashian West’s response: on target, insensitive, or something else?
Do you agree with the author’s conclusion about the Kardashian fame? Why or why not?