Kim Kardashian has sparked controversy once again.
The reality TV star has now been accused of disrespecting Japanese culture with her new “Kimono” shapewear line.
Kardashian’s latest project has been live for less than 24 hours but has already got everyone talking online, with many using the hashtag #KimOhNo.
One Japanese woman, Yuka Ohishi, told the BBC: “We wear kimonos to celebrate health, growth of children, engagements, marriages, graduations, at funerals. It’s celebratory wear and passed on in families through the generations.
“[This] shapewear doesn’t even resemble a kimono — she just chose a word that has Kim in it — there’s no respect to what the garment actually means in our culture.”
On Thursday, Kardashian responded to the backlash in a statement to The New York Times.
“I understand and have deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture and have no plans to design or release any garments that would in any way resemble or dishonour the traditional garment,” she said. “I made the decision to name my company Kimono, not to disassociate the word from its Japanese roots but as a nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment.”
She added, “Filing a trademark is a source identifier that will allow me to use the word for my shapewear and intimates line but does not preclude or restrict anyone, in this instance, from making kimonos or using the word kimono in reference to the traditional garment. My solutionwear brand is built with inclusivity and diversity at its core and I’m incredibly proud of what’s to come.”
Kardashian trademarked the “Kimono” brand last year in the U.S.
She has also filed trademarks for “Kimono Body”, “Kimono Intimates”, and “Kimono World”.
ET Canada has contacted Kardashian’s rep for comment.