After international backlash, Kim Kardashian West will rename her shapewear brand

Kim Kardashian West’s shapewear line.
Kim Kardashian West’s shapewear line.
Image: Vanessa Beecroft via Reuters
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As of today, we know what Kim Kardashian West’s new shapewear line won’t be called.

The reality-TV star has announced that she will rename her Kimono brand, following an onslaught of international backlash that broke out practically the moment she announced the new line. She hasn’t said what her line of body-shaping underwear will be named, but on her Twitter and Instagram accounts, she made clear that she won’t continue with her initial plan.

“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 wrote.

Since last week, Kardashian West has been fending off accusations of cultural misappropriation for her use of the word “kimono,” a garment with deep historical and cultural meaning in Japan dating back centuries that happens to have the name “Kim” in it in English. She had applied for trademarks for the line, including one for the word “kimono” in a stylized font, sparking anger that she would co-opt a piece of Japanese culture for her brand and prompting fears she would be able to prevent others from using the word “kimono” at all in the US. (She couldn’t actually do that.)

Kardashian West had previously indicated that she would not be changing the name. But pressure has continued to mount. In addition to the responses on social media, many using the hashtag #KIMOHNO, more than 125,000 people have signed a petition rebuking her. On June 28, the mayor of Kyoto even wrote a letter to her politely asking her to reconsider using the name Kimono.

Though Kardashian West’s shapewear itself is arguably a great idea, coming in an inclusive array of sizes and shades, brands have no choice now but to think through how a global audience will view their actions, or risk backlash.