This week’s featured article


Less than a week after announcing an upcoming underwear line called Kimono Solutionwear, U.S. reality television star Kim Kardashian West has dropped the brand name following a backlash from people in Japan, including the mayor of Kyoto.

“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,” Kardashian West said in a statement Monday on social media, including Instagram where she has 142 million followers. “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.”

The TV-star-turned businesswoman, whose other entrepreneurial ventures include makeup brand KKW beauty and mobile game “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” announced “a new, solution focused approach to shape enhancing underwear” called Kimono Solutionwear on Tuesday. While a number of celebrities and fans expressed their support, Kardashian West’s social media accounts received hundreds of replies, many using the hashtag “#KimOhNo,” expressing distaste for her word choice.

As of Monday, more than 130,000 people had signed an online petition to “change this horrible cultural disrespect.” Despite the backlash, in a statement to the New York Times on Thursday, Kardashian West said “I understand and have deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture,” but that she would not change the name.

Kyoto’s kimono-loving mayor, Daisaku Kadokawa, renowned for always wearing the attire while carrying out official duties, on Friday sent Kardashian West an open letter asking her to reconsider her attempt to trademark a name that includes the word “kimono.”

“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,” Kadokawa wrote. The mayor went on to say that the word kimono “should not be monopolized,” before expressing his hope that the American mega-star would visit Kyoto.

First published in The Japan Times on July 2.

Warm up

One minute chat about kimono.


Collect words related to fashion:

e.g., brand, wear, dress, style …

New words

1) backlash: a strong adverse reaction by a large number of people, e.g., “He received public backlash for his comment on race.”

2) reconsider: to consider something again after having considered it earlier, e.g., “The school reconsidered prohibiting students from bringing smart phones to school.”

3) cherish: to treasure or keep something with care and consideration, e.g. “Okubo cherishes the time she spends with her family.”

Guess the headline

Kim Kardashian to d_ _ _ Kimono name from s_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ after objections


1) How many people signed the online petition to change the brand’s name?

2) What did Mayor Kadokawa say in his open letter to Kim Kardashian West?

Let’s discuss the article

1) How familiar are you with kimono?

2) Do you think Kim Kardashian West did the right thing by dropping the word kimono from her brand name?




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