Defined as a “long, loose piece of outer clothing with very wide sleeves” by the Cambridge English Dictionary, the word ‘kimono’ has historically conjured up a very distinct image.
But Kim Kardashian West would really like to change that.
The reality TV star has announced the launch of a new shapewear line with the name “Kimono Solutionwear”.
The shapewear - which according to Kardashian West West is designed to blend into wearers’ skin tones - comes in unitard, bra and underwear designs.
Kardashian West West announced Kimono Solutionwear - and its associated trademark - on Instagram on Wednesday.
“Finally I can share with you guys this project that I have been developing for the last year.
I’ve been passionate about this for 15 years. Kimono is my take on shapewear and solutions for women that actually work,” Kardashian West said.
“I would always cut up my shapewear to make my own styles, and there have also been so many times I couldn’t find a shapewear colour that blended with my skin tone so we needed a solution for all of this.”
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Kardashian West’s mother and manager, Kris Jenner commented on the post describing it as “literally a game changer!”
Kimonos first came into being during the Heian period in Japan between 794-1192, providing a garment that was easy to fold and could be worn in all weather by layering. The straight-line design of the kimono meant - somewhat ironically, perhaps - that kimono makers did not have to worry about designing to fit the wearer’s body as closely.
TMZ reported that Kardashian West began seeking to trademark “Kimono Intimates” in 2018.
The phrases “Kimono,” “Kimono Intimates”, “Kimono World” and “Kimono Body” also appear to be awaiting review for trademarks.
But social media has already elicited mixed reactions.
“But why would Kim call her shapewear line Kimono as if Kimonos aren’t an entirely different item of clothing that belong to a cultural group?” questioned one person.
But why would Kim call her shapewear line Kimono as if Kimonos aren’t an entirely different item of clothing that belong to a cultural group? 🥴— Gravitas (@Afika_Lulo) June 25, 2019
“Naming your product/startup with Japanese words might seem hip and all, but it really sucks for us when our culture is diluted by names of brands that don't have anything to do with what the word actually represents. And better yet, trademarking it? F NO,” another social media user said.
Naming your product/startup with Japanese words might seem hip and all, but it really sucks for us when our culture is diluted by names of brands that don't have anything to do with what the word actually represents.— Yuka Ohishi (@0oyukao0) June 25, 2019
And better yet, trademarking it? F NO.https://t.co/8pFaEGdXI2
“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.”
Other Twitter users still chose to highlight the difference between Kardashian West’s pun-inspired Kimono range and actual kimonos.
“One is KIMONO. One is Kim shamelessly selling a line of shapewear. Which y’all don’t need.”
And one user put it even more simply.
“Kimono, more like “Kim, oh no.”
kimono, more like “Kim, oh no”— kinga🐊 (@malechk_) June 25, 2019
This isn’t the first time a member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan has come under fire for trademark attempts.
One of the youngest members of the family and head of cosmetic behemoth, Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner lost her bid to trademark “Kylie” in 2018 when Australian pop-star Kylie Minogue took issue with the claim.
At the time, Minogue’s legal team described Jenner as a “secondary reality television personality.”
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