Beauty mogul Kim Kardashian is defending herself after a ferocious backlash. The 38-year-old mother of four sat down with WSJ. Magazine to discuss her "innocent" decision to name her new shapewear brand Kimono.
When critics accused her of "cultural appropriation" for attempting to trademark the word used to describe traditional Japanese robes, she relented and agreed to rename the line. And she probably shouldn’t have named it Kimono in the first place, she admits.
"You would think we would have obviously thought it through a little bit deeper," Kardashian says, adding: "I’m the first person to say, ‘Okay, of course, I can’t believe we didn’t think of this.’ I obviously had really innocent intentions. But, let’s listen. And I want to really listen. And I want to really take it all in."
She adds that she has deep respect for Japan and that her husband Kanye West was actually there when the scandal broke. "It’s a place that we love and go to. I have such respect."
And while WSJ. Magazine notes that other companies have trademarked lines in the U.S. with the word kimono, Kardashian says: "There might be more eyes on me and my brand. And so I have to tune it out and really learn and really grow and have to realize that maybe there is a different standard. Do I feel held to a higher standard? I’ll take responsibility for that and do the right thing."
She is still deciding what the name of the line will be, but says she believes "everyone needs this. Underwear, bras—this is what people wear every day." It is, the WSJ points out, an $83 billion industry.