Kim Kardashian West accused of cultural appropriation for new shapewear line called 'Kimono'
© Getty Images

Kim KardashianKimberly (Kim) Noel Kardashian WestJudge approves Kanye's name change to 'Ye' Wokesters or felons: Whom would you hire? Kim Kardashian West knocks Kanye, Kris, sex tape, OJ Simpson in 'Saturday Night Live' hosting debut MORE West was accused of cultural appropriation this week after unveiling a new line of shapewear called Kimono.

The reality TV star shared her new project on social media Tuesday, a line of figure-hugging lingerie for women in various flesh-colored tones that are designed to be worn under clothes.

“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,” Kardashian West wrote.

The website for the line describes Kimono as the "culmination of Kim’s personal experience with shapewear and is fueled by her passion to create truly considered and highly technical solutions for every body. Whether the desire is to enhance, smooth, lift or sculpt, Kimono provides superior options for all shapes and tones.” 


Kardashian West sought U.S. trademarks for the Kimono brand last year, BBC reported. She has also filed trademarks for "Kimono Body", "Kimono Intimates" and "Kimono World."

Kimonos are ankle-length gowns with long, wide sleeves that are secured at the waist with a broad sash called an obi, CNN reported.

The gowns are a central part of Japanese culture and critics accused Kardashian West of stealing the name of their traditional dress often worn for special occasions.

Angry social media users were quick to hit the “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” personality for disrespecting Japanese culture and history, many using the hashtag “#KimOhNo.”

"Nice underwear, but as a Japanese woman  loves to wear our traditional dress, kimono, I find the naming of your products baffling (since it has no resemblance to kimono), if not outright culturally offensive, especially if it’s merely a word play on your name. Pls reconsider,” BBC News Japanese editor Yuko Kato commented.

"I understand and have deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture," Kardashian West told The New York Times in response to the uproar, but she added she has no intention of changing the name.

The Hill has reached out to Kardashian West’s brand for comment.

This is not the first time that the business mogul has been accused of cultural appropriation.

When introducing a new contour and highlighting kit for her KKW Beauty line in 2017, Kardashian West was slammed for a promotional image that appeared to show her with darkened skin. 

She responded to the blackface allegations in an interview with The New York Times, saying she was tan when she shot the mages and the “contrast was off.” 

“Of course, I have the utmost respect for why people might feel the way they did. But we made the necessary changes to that photo and the rest of the photos,” she said. “We saw the problem, and we adapted and changed right away. Definitely I have learned from it.”

—Updated at 11:45 p.m.