Kim Kardashian faces cultural appropriation row after trademarking 'Kimono' for underwear line

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Kim Kardashian has named her latest underwear range "Kimono". [Photo: Getty/Twitter]

Kim Kardashian is being accused of cultural appropriation after naming her underwear range “Kimono”.

The entrepreneur and ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ star launched her debut line of shapewear solutions yesterday. She has reportedly filed to trademark the word “Kimono” along with the phrase “Kimono body”.

She shared photographs of herself posing alongside models in the underwear range, which comes in a diverse range of styles, skin tones and shapes.

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Yet – despite the brand’s inclusive approach, Kardashian appears to have overlooked one crucial detail, and has consequently upset a lot of Japanese people.

Incidentally, this comes in the same month Kardashian appeared on her debut Vogue Japan cover.

The Kimono range, ostensibly a play on the star’s name, just so happens to share a moniker with a centuries-old Japanese garment – and the crossover has caused a backlash.

Responding to Twitter, one Japanese woman, Yuko Kato, urged Kardashian to “reconsider” her name choice.

Kato claimed Kim’s latest brand is “appropriating” Japanese culture for the sake of her brand.

Kato isn’t the only person to voice her disappointment.

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A number of Twitter users have weighed in, branding Kardashian as “tasteless” and “disrespectful” for her choice of name.

Some have shared pictures of themselves wearing kimonos for special occasions, to highlight the cultural and emotional significance of the garment.

Some frustrated Twitter users have even taken to suggesting alternative names for the range that include Kim – highlighting there are a wealth of other options.

This isn’t the first time Kardashian has been accused of cultural appropriation.

In January last year, she took to Instagram to show off her so-called “Bo Derek” braids – but was soon met with backlash on social media.

Twitter users said she was ‘trolling black women’ and that she ‘did not get [her] inspiration from white women’.