Kim Kardashian’s New ‘Kimono’ Shapewear Sparks Outrage For Appropriating A Traditional Japanese Item

Kim Kardashian’s New ‘Kimono’ Shapewear Sparks Outrage

July 5th, 2019   |   Updated on May 25th, 2020

Recently, Kim Kardashian West faced outrage over using the name of Japanese Kimono to sell her latest shapewear. She was accused of appropriating an item which is central to Japanese culture.

As per her Tweet, she had been developing this project for 15 years:

Bowing to the pressure, she has announced to make changes to her Kimono shapewear brand. She has announced that she will never use Kimono word that she had trademarked under Kimono Intimates, Inc., Kimono Body and Kimono World.

She knows how to make headlines to promote a good. She barely covered her modesty for a Cherry Blossom ad. But making headlines for plagiarism is a different thing as it could evoke backlash that really matters.

The backlash included the trending Twitter hashtag #KimOhNoKim:

One Twitter user even showed her grandmother’s kimonos under the hastag #KimOhNo

History of Japanese Kimonos

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Recent History of Fashion’s Cultural Appropriation Problem

Kim is not the only designer who have faced accusations of cultural appropriation.

  • Isabel Marant faced similar accusation in 2015. She was accused of plagiarizing the traditional Mexican blouse.
  • In 2017, Gucci showed white models in Sikh-styled turbans

  • Vogue was accused of cultural appropriation in 2017 for dressing Karlie Kloss as a geisha.

  • Vogue did the same thing in 2018 when it showed Kendall Jenner with an ‘afro’

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Fifteen years and 150 finalists later, the @CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund prize has created global stars, local heroes, a must-watch New York Fashion Week, and, most important, a true sense of community among designers of all ages and backgrounds—all with differing aesthetic and commercial aspirations—who communicate, collaborate, and essentially care for one another through the fun and not-so-fun times. Laura Vassar Brock—one of the founders of 2016 #CVFF winner Brock Collection—says, “We spoke to a few friends who had gone through it, and they all said the same thing: that the Fashion Fund is a life-changing experience. And indeed it was!” Tap the link in our bio to learn more. Photographed by @mikaeljansson, styled by @tonnegood, Vogue, November 2018

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  • Dior’s used white actress Jennifer Lawrence for its Cruise 2019 campaign. A white actress honoring Mexxican heritage did not go down well with some people.

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