Kim Kardashian has finally given in to the critics.
The reality star, 38, got herself into international hot water following the announcement of her latest business venture last week, a shapewear company called Kimono.
Backlash against the name, which Kardashian trademarked last year for the use of undergarments, shapewear and actual kimonos, was swift. Fans accused the star of cultural appropriation, spammed pages with the hashtag #KimOhNo and called upon the star to rename her line.
Kardashian initially resisted, insisting that she meant no disrespect, but revealed on Monday that she will be changing the name.
“I am always listening, learning and growing – I so appreciate the passion and varied perspectives that people bring to me. When I announced the name of my shapewear line, I did so with the best intentions in mind,” she announced on Twitter, adding, “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. I will be in touch soon. Thank you for your understanding and support always.”
The about-face was likely due to increased pressure from more prominent voices, including the mayor of Kyoto, Japan, who on Sunday wrote Kardashian an open letter.
“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,” Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa, who is known for wearing a kimono while carrying out official duties, wrote in an open letter to Kardashian on Sunday, according to Japan Today.
Kadokawa also informed Kim that his city is trying to have kimono culture registered on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The mayor ended his letter, which was sent by mail and email as well as posted on his official Facebook page, by inviting Kardashian to visit Kyoto so that she can “experience the essence of Kimono Culture and understand our thoughts and our strong wish.”
Initially, a few days after announcing the launch of her brand (which is scheduled to be released in July), Kardashian responded with a public show of respect but no remorse.
“I understand and have deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture,” she said in a statement to the New York Times last week. “My solutionwear brand is built with inclusivity and diversity at its core and I’m incredibly proud of what’s to come.”