Kim Kardashian Responded To The Kimono Shapewear Name Backlash
When Kim Kardashian posts a gorgeous photo to her Instagram, the words that go along with it are typically no more than a few lines written in the caption. However, today's black-and-white portrait was posted with the intention of directing fans over to a Wall Street Journal Magazine article, in which Kim Kardashian responded to the Kimono Shapewear name backlash. Yes, the photo was gorgeous, but the message within the WSJ Magazine piece itself was what mattered most. After days of backlash, a vow to keep the name, and finally, an apology and a promise for change, Kardashian is finally giving fans a more thorough explanation, instead of yet another Instagram caption.
Before I dive into what was said in the piece, allow me to recap the situation at hand and give you a quick debrief. Get it — brief? Because we're talking about undergarments, or as Kardashian would refer to hers, solutionwear. After years of DIYing her pantyhose and Spanx into styles that suited her glamorous wardrobe, Kardashian announced the launch of her own shapewear brand, Kimono, and pretty much everyone was peeved. "#KimOhNo" was trending on Twitter as fans criticized Kardashian's lack of respect for the traditional Japanese garb, especially after news broke that she had plans to trademark the word "kimono."
At first, Kardashian couldn't have been prouder of the new business:
However, a few days of intense backlash caused her to finally step back and speak up:
"When I announced the name of my shapewear line, I did so with the best intentions in mind," Kardashian posted to her Instagram in a heartfelt caption on July 1. "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, and her decision was met with praise.
Still, a simple caption wasn't enough to satisfy the masses, so Kardashian jumped on the chance to more fully tell her story via an article in the Wall Street Journal Magazine:
So, the new company name? "We're figuring it all out now," was Kardashian's geniune reply in the piece. She also spoke to the fact that the first batch of shapewear was already made with the Kimono branding. "Nothing will go to waste," Kardashian said of the now-unusable inventory, "That is my number one priority." Good job, Kim!
She also admitted that she had made a mistake in not realizing the name could be interpreted as insensitive in the first place. "I heard it, and it instantly clicked with me," Kardashian told WSJ Magazine back in June. "You would think we would have obviously thought it through a little bit deeper...I'm the first person to say, OK, of course, I can't believe we didn't think of this," Kardashian told the magazine after all the backlash. "I obviously had really innocent intentions," she insisted, adding how much she and Kanye love Japan.
The article also points out that a myriad of brands before Kardashian's have used the word "kimono" in their branding, but Kardashian is quick to admit that her celeb status comes with both more attention and more room for scrutiny. "I do realize, though, that there might be more eyes on me and my brand," she admitted in the piece. "Do I feel held to a higher standard? I'll take responsibility for that and do the right thing," she says.
Lastly, Kardashian spoke to why she loves shapewear so much:
While Kim is open with her fans about her psoriasis and cellulite on Instagram, she is quick to admit that she likes to look her best and feel put together, and alludes to her shapewear as sort of a suit of armor, a base layer that helps her feel more put-together. "It's my second skin that makes me feel comfortable and cozy and all smoothed," Kardashian insists. No wonder she is trying to rebrand shapewear as solutionwear.
Although the article gives no mention of the company's new name or a new launch date, it's easy to see Kardashian is making moves behind the scenes. I'm proud of Kim for listening to her fans and agreeing to change the name of Kimono, and I'm excited to check out the renamed, revamped line as soon as it drops.