Just last week, reality star turned serial entrepreneur Kim Kardashian West unveiled her newest and perhaps most ambitious project to date: A line of shapewear (or "solutionwear") in a wide-ranging selection of sizes and shades called Kimono. While Kardashian West was praised for the inclusivity and ingenuity of the product offering, many fans took issue with the name, slamming the influential star for cultural appropriation and disrespecting the traditional Japanese garment of the same name.
In fact, on June 28, the mayor of Kyoto, Daisaku Kadokawa, wrote an open letter to Kardashian West urging her to reconsider the choice of her brand trademark. "Kimono is a traditional ethnic dress fostered in our rich nature and history with our predecessors' tireless endeavors and studies, and it is a culture that has been cherished and passed down with care in our living," he wrote. "Also, it is a fruit of craftsmanship and truly symbolizes sense of beauty, spirits and value of Japanese."
Kardashian West isn't often one to bend to pressure from social media, but in this case, she is making an exception: On Monday morning, in a series of tweets, she announced that she will be changing the name of her forthcoming collection, which is due to release its first drop later this month. Read on for her full statement, and watch this space for further updates as they become available.
"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."
UPDATE, Monday, Aug. 26, 11:52 a.m.: Two months after the initial uproar over the name of Kim Kardashian West's shapewear line erupted, the mogul announced her brand's new moniker: Skims.
"My fans and followers are a huge inspiration to me – I'm always listening to their feedback and opinions, and am so grateful they shared their ideas for a new brand name," Kardashian West said in a tweet. "After much thought and consideration, I'm excited to announce the launch of SKIMS Solutionwear™."
She added that "the pieces will be the closest thing to someone's skin, skimming with amazingly soft and supportive fabrics which accentuate the best parts of our bodies," and noted that the line will officially launch on Sept. 10.