A Year After Trademarking the Word ‘Kimono,’ Backlash Convinces Kim Kardashian to Do the Right Thing

Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian
Photo: JP Yim (Getty Images)

Well, wonders never cease...and it only took a year for you to grow some damned common sense, Kim.


In May 2018, TMZ reported that Kim Kardashian West had filed papers to trademark a new line of shapewear and intimates under the questionable name “Kimono Intimates.” Yes, we obviously get that Kim considered “Kimono” a cutesy spin on her name, but given that the word is well associated with the traditional Japanese robe, appropriating it was far from the reality star’s best idea.

Nevertheless, in a move surprising to absolutely no one, she persisted.

But days after announcing the launch of Kimono, which is “[Kim’s] take on shapewear and solutions for women that actually work,” as she wrote in an Instagram post, she’s apparently now having some, well, overdue misgivings about the brand’s name, as she wrote in a post on Monday morning:

Being an entrepreneur and my own boss has been one of the most rewarding challenges I’ve been blessed with in my life. 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. I am always listening, learning and growing - I so appreciate 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. 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.

Well, that’s an expensive mistake, if ever we’ve heard one.

Frankly, we find it hard to believe Kim just now had the revelation that “Kimono” wasn’t a good look for her line. The more likely story is that she’s so accustomed to getting away with appropriative moments, she arrogantly assumed this one would fly as well. But in addition to the public outcry she’d previously chosen to ignore (including a new hashtag, #KimOhNo) Mayor of Kyoto, Japan, Daisaku Kadokawa was not having it, penning an open letter to the entrepreneur last Friday on Facebook that not only outlined the inappropriateness of her name choice, but also some helpful guidance for anyone else interested in indulging in “Kimono culture”:

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 that Kimono, 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.


Should it have taken a political plea to get Kim—who has been lauded for her growing political savvy, as of late—to do the right thing? (I mean, seriously; who trademarks the name of a country’s cultural garb?) We think not, but perhaps this particular teachable moment will compel her to apply a little more of her newfound “wokeness” to other fashion decisions. (We highly doubt it, but we can dream, can’t we?)


But given Kim’s highly publicized history, we suspect the controversy was welcome; after all, shapewear’s not exactly the sexiest garment to market. But with nine shades and sizes up to 4XL, we have to admit this line was actually one of her better ideas...even the weird one-legged bike short that’ll likely make wearing a high side slit a much sleeker experience (scroll below).


We just hope they’re also sized for culture vultures.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?



I feel like it just speaks to their idiocy because kimMotion was right there.