In late June, reality television star, Kim Kardashian West, announced a new shapewear collection called “Kimono.” The backlash was instant. With Japanese people at its forefront, a #KimOhNo Twitter campaign was launched against West, as well as a petition via change.org with as many as 120,000 signatures just days after her news. At first, the fashion mogul remained unwavering; she made an official statement in a New York Times article that said, “I understand and have a deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture,” reaffirming the pride she has for her brand and its inclusivity.
However, just a day after the mayor of Kyoto, Daisaku Kadokawa, penned an open letter to West asking her to reconsider. The celebrity backed down and agreed to re-release her product under a new name, Solutionwear. This shift took place less than a week after her initial kimono brand name reveal.
Intrigued by the heavy wave of protests and its fast turnaround success, I interviewed twelve Japanese people living inside and outside of Japan on how they felt about the recent news. Here’s what they had to say:
For the sake of privacy, some interviewees have used pseudonyms. Their responses have been condensed and edited, and some have been translated from Japanese.
Confusion and Eye Rolls
Some simply questioned Kardashian West’s latest move. It was difficult to place their finger on the exact …continue reading