Kim Kardashian almost lost $10 million renaming her shapewear line SKIMS
19 November 2019, 17:24 | Updated: 26 January 2022, 19:17
Kim Kardashian opened up about being accused of cultural appropriation for originally calling her line Kimono instead of SKIMS on KUWTK.
Kim Kardashian has revealed that she almost lost millions of dollars when she renamed her Kimono shapewear line SKIMS.
Back in June, Kim Kardashian faced accusations of cultural appropriation when she announced that she would be launching a new shapewear line called Kimono. People criticised Kim for repurposing the name of a traditional Japanese garment for her own personal gain. Even the Mayor of Kyoto, Daisaku Kadokawa, wrote Kim an open letter asking her to change the name of her new line. Shortly afterwards, Kim apologised and explained that she would call the line SKIMs instead.
Now Kim has opened up about the cultural appropriation scandal in a new episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
On KUWTK, Kim said: "Who would ever think that I would want to do something that would be disrespectful? They’re saying that I’m cultural appropriating. My intention was never to offend anybody." She then went on to add: "We brought the name to retailers. There were a lot of people who could have chimed in and said that they felt like this was not an appropriate brand name and nobody did. Foolishly and ignorantly, we never thought that it would be a problem."
Kim also revealed why she didn't instantly change the name as soon as she received backlash over it. Talking to Scott Disick about the controversy, she explained: "In a perfect world, if I could just say let's change the name, and it would be that easy then I would do it in a heartbeat but I printed the logo inside all the garments. Hundreds of thousands. We would lose like $10 million."
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Finally I can share with you guys this project that I have been developing for the last year. I’ve been passionate about this for 15 years. Kimono is my take on shapewear and solutions for women that actually work. I would always cut up my shapewear to make my own styles, and there have also been so many times I couldn’t find a shapeware color that blended with my skin tone so we needed a solution for all of this. The third pic is the solution short. I developed this style for all of those times I wanted to wear a dress or skirt with a slit and still needed the support. Introducing Kimono Solutionwear™ for every body. Coming Soon in sizes XXS - 4XL in 9 shades. I can’t wait for you to feel this fabric!#KimonoBody @kimono Photos by Vanessa Beecroft
Ultimately, the Mayor of Kyoto helped Kim realise that she had to change the name. "He was very thoughtful and very kindly explained to me the meaning of kimono and why that’s so important to their culture. I definitely did not want to disrespect a culture. That’s not what the brand is even about — it’s about inclusivity, it’s about comfort, it’s not about making people uncomfortable."
She then added: "I just feel kind of dumb. Like, why didn’t we think about this? It sucks that it’s so public and that everyone can see the mistakes of the brand as they’re live, but I’ve got to just calm down. Everything happens for a reason."
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My fans and followers are a huge inspiration to me – I’m always listening to their feedback and opinions, and am so grateful they shared their ideas for a new brand name. After much thought and consideration, I’m excited to announce the launch of @SKIMS Solutionwear™ coming September 10. I love the idea that the pieces will be the closest thing to someone’s skin, skimming with amazingly soft and supportive fabrics which accentuate the best parts of our bodies. Available in sizes XXS - 5XL, SKIMS Solutionwear™ is for every body. SKIMS.COM. #ShowYourSKIMS Photo: #VanessaBeecroft
Later Kim found out that she could salvage "over a million garments" simply by relabelling them and cutting out their labels. She also saved huge excess costs by using the original infomercials she filmed to advertise SKIMS with the Kimono name edited out of them. If you watch the video with Kris Jenner, Kyle Richards and Lisa Renner, you can still see the original Kimono name blurred out.
In other words, Kim didn't lose $10 million over the name change. In fact, SKIMS made over $2 million within minutes of it launching. So no need to lose sleep over Kim's financial state just yet.