After backlash, Kardashian drops ‘Kimono’ name from underwear line

The mayor of Japan’s ancient capital Kyoto was among those who asked the reality television star to consider renaming her shapewear line. (File/AFP)
Updated 02 July 2019

After backlash, Kardashian drops ‘Kimono’ name from underwear line

  • She will change the name of her new “Kimono” line of underwear, after being accused of cultural appropriation
  • “My brands and products are built with inclusivity and diversity at their core and after careful thought and consideration,” Kardashian said

WASHINGTON: “Kimono” is now a no no, Kim Kardashian West said Monday.
The pop culture icon announced that she will change the name of her new “Kimono” line of underwear, after being accused of cultural appropriation.
Kardashian, who is married to rapper Kanye West, sparked a social media storm last week when she unveiled the new line, with some in Japan accusing her of disrespecting the traditional outfit.
Following the backlash, which included the trending Twitter hashtag #KimOhNo, Kardashian revealed on Twitter and to her 142 million followers on Instagram that she would change the name.
“When I announced the name of my shapewear line, I did so with the best intentions in mind,” Kardashian said.
“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,” she said.
Once a standard of the Japanese wardrobe, the kimono is now often reserved for special occasions, such as weddings and coming-of-age ceremonies, and is mostly worn by women.
The mayor of Japan’s ancient capital Kyoto was among those who asked the reality television star to consider renaming her shapewear line.
“Kimono is a traditional ethnic dress fostered in our rich nature and history,” Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa wrote in a letter to Kardashian.
“(I) ask you to reconsider your decision of using the name Kimono in your trademark,” Kadokawa said.
Explaining her decision to change the name, Kardashian said “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,” she said. “I am always listening, learning and growing — I so appreciate the passion and varied perspectives that people bring to me.”
However, Kardashian’s U-turn did not appear to mollify Japanese officials, with Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko announcing that Tokyo would sent senior Patent Office staff to the US on July 9 to discuss the situation.
“The kimono is a culture our country has given to the world. In America as well, kimono has a high name recognition as being Japanese,” Seko told reporters in Tokyo.
“I hope the United States will take the appropriate screening measures, taking into account the spirit of the trademark system,” added the minister.


Five-day fashion bootcamp to promote Saudi talent, entrepreneurs

Updated 14 January 2021

Five-day fashion bootcamp to promote Saudi talent, entrepreneurs

JEDDAH: A virtual bootcamp aimed at promoting entrepreneurial talent in Saudi Arabia’s fledgling fashion industry has opened for applicants.
The Kingdom’s Fashion Commission launched the second phase of its incubation program as part of an initiative to boost cultural entrepreneurship in the country with the support of the Quality of Life scheme.
One of 11 commissions established by the Ministry of Culture, the Fashion Commission’s program will run a series of workshops from Feb. 28 until March 4 addressed by top academic speakers, thought leaders, Saudi business figures, and international institutions involved in the fashion sector.
Virtual bootcamp participants will learn how to develop their business projects, network, build partnerships, assess the market, and benefit from prototypes to cost-effectively bring their ideas to fruition.
The program’s first-phase fashion hackathon started on Thursday and will run for three intensive days. Phases three and four will be announced over the coming weeks.
The fashion hackathon will see 150 participants — chosen from 1,500 applications — divided into 33 teams compete to win a five-day trip to the Milan Fashion Week.

Designer, Layla Moussa photographed by Dirk Bader for Vogue Arabia June 2018. (Photo courtesy: Vogue Arabia)

HIGHLIGHT

One of 11 commissions established by the Ministry of Culture, the Fashion Commission’s program will run a series of workshops from Feb. 28 until March 4 addressed by top academic speakers, thought leaders, Saudi business figures, and international institutions involved in the fashion sector.

Saudi fashion designer and founder of luxury brand Hindamme, Mohammed Khoja, told Arab News that the ministry backed program would help to give fashion talent access to business partners, intensive practical learning, and mentors.
“Programs such as this are vital in being able to build up the industry and in connecting the dots,” he said.

Designer, Arwa Al Banawi. Photographed by Dirk Bader for Vogue Arabia June 2018. (Photo courtesy: Vogue Arabia)

He pointed out that the fashion industry was still very new to the Kingdom and had not received the support it needed, which was why such programs were so important in helping to grow the sector.
“Within the Saudi fashion industry, we still face a number of challenges mainly due to this industry being relatively new and lacking structure.
“This program will support designers and prospective investors to find mutual benefits and offer clearer pathways for careers in the rapidly growing fashion industry in Saudi Arabia,” he added.
Applicants have until Jan. 18 to register for the fashion bootcamp via https://engage.moc.gov.sa/fashion_bootcamp.