Kim Kardashian is changing the name of her new shapewear line after getting a dressing-down from many people, including the mayor of Kyoto, Japan.
The reality show star announced Monday via Twitter that she would no longer call the brand “Kimono.”
Kardashian’s decision to drop “Kimono” came after Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa posted an open letter Monday on Facebook asking her to consider a new name.
“I am writing this letter to convey our thoughts on Kimono and ask you to re-consider your decision of using the name Kimono in your trademark,” Kadokawa wrote in the letter, per Japan Today. “Kimono is a traditional ethnic dress fostered in our rich nature and history with our predecessors’ tireless endeavors and studies, and it is a culture that has been cherished and passed down with care in our living. Also, it is a fruit of craftsmanship and truly symbolizes sense of beauty, spirits and values of Japanese.”
The mayor added that Japan is working to get “Kimono Culture” registered to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. “We think that the names for ‘Kimono’ are the asset shared with all humanity who love Kimono and its culture therefore they should not be monopolized,” he wrote.
He also invited Kardashian and her husband, Kanye West, to visit Kyoto “where many Japanese cultures including Kimono have been cherished,” so they could “experience the essence of Kimono Culture and understand our thoughts and our strong wish.”
Writer Scott Wilson speculated Kadokawa was throwing shade at the couple with that last remark since they have visited Tokyo before. “Is the mayor saying that they haven’t fully experienced Japan just by popping around Shinjuku grabbing McDonald’s apple pies? Well, we’ll just have to leave that up to interpretation,” Wilson wrote.
Kardashian announced her new shapewear line last Tuesday and immediately came under fire since it had the same name as a traditional Japanese silk robe.
Although the “Kimono” name is a pun on Kardashian’s first name, it also reeks of cultural appropriation — which seems to be part of her M.O. The fashion mogul has previously received backlash for wearing Fulani braids, sporting an Indian headpiece and appearing to be in blackface.
She also paid lip service to the original clothing item, saying, “I understand and have deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture,” but made no plans to change the name.
However, many people went after the brand by turning #KimOhNo into a trending hashtag. In addition, a Change.org petition condemning the name has attracted more than 129,000 signatures so far.