After backlash, Kardashian drops ‘Kimono’ name from underwear line

The mayor of Japan’s ancient capital Kyoto was among those who asked the reality television star to consider renaming her shapewear line. (File/AFP)
Updated 02 July 2019
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After backlash, Kardashian drops ‘Kimono’ name from underwear line

  • She will change the name of her new “Kimono” line of underwear, after being accused of cultural appropriation
  • “My brands and products are built with inclusivity and diversity at their core and after careful thought and consideration,” Kardashian said

WASHINGTON: “Kimono” is now a no no, Kim Kardashian West said Monday.
The pop culture icon announced that she will change the name of her new “Kimono” line of underwear, after being accused of cultural appropriation.
Kardashian, who is married to rapper Kanye West, sparked a social media storm last week when she unveiled the new line, with some in Japan accusing her of disrespecting the traditional outfit.
Following the backlash, which included the trending Twitter hashtag #KimOhNo, Kardashian revealed on Twitter and to her 142 million followers on Instagram that she would change the name.
“When I announced the name of my shapewear line, I did so with the best intentions in mind,” Kardashian said.
“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,” she said.
Once a standard of the Japanese wardrobe, the kimono is now often reserved for special occasions, such as weddings and coming-of-age ceremonies, and is mostly worn by women.
The mayor of Japan’s ancient capital Kyoto was among those who asked the reality television star to consider renaming her shapewear line.
“Kimono is a traditional ethnic dress fostered in our rich nature and history,” Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa wrote in a letter to Kardashian.
“(I) ask you to reconsider your decision of using the name Kimono in your trademark,” Kadokawa said.
Explaining her decision to change the name, Kardashian said “being an entrepreneur and my own boss has been one of the most rewarding challenges I’ve been blessed with in my life.
“What’s made it possible for me after all of these years has been the direct line of communication with my fans and the public,” she said. “I am always listening, learning and growing — I so appreciate the passion and varied perspectives that people bring to me.”
However, Kardashian’s U-turn did not appear to mollify Japanese officials, with Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko announcing that Tokyo would sent senior Patent Office staff to the US on July 9 to discuss the situation.
“The kimono is a culture our country has given to the world. In America as well, kimono has a high name recognition as being Japanese,” Seko told reporters in Tokyo.
“I hope the United States will take the appropriate screening measures, taking into account the spirit of the trademark system,” added the minister.


Tourism chiefs salute fashion designer for holding son’s wedding in Lebanon

Elie Jr. and Christina Mourad. (Social media)
Updated 23 July 2019
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Tourism chiefs salute fashion designer for holding son’s wedding in Lebanon

  • The tourism leader said the situation was to do with Lebanese ego, but he emphasized that wedding parties held in Lebanon could be better than those staged abroad on all levels

BEIRUT: Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab has been hailed by tourism chiefs for staging his son’s lavish wedding reception on home turf.
The influential Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafés, Night-Clubs and Pastries in Lebanon saluted Saab “for holding the wedding party of his son, Elie Jr., and the Lebanese bride, Christina Mourad, in Lebanon instead of abroad, as do tens of Lebanese leaders and lords.
“Holding wedding parties abroad has deprived the tourism sector as well as other sectors in Lebanon of important revenues that can revive the national economy,” the syndicate said.
The nonprofit body that represents restaurateurs, added that the glittering event had “turned the country into a huge wedding attended by more than 3,000 guests from inside and outside Lebanon.
“People shared their joy on social media, communicating Lebanon’s image of civilization and tourism to the world. This wedding filled Lebanese hotels, restaurants and nightclubs and stirred the economic cycle for more than 10 days before and after the wedding. We salute the man who loves peace and Lebanon a thousand times.”
Jean Abboud, president of the Association of Travel and Tourist Agents in Lebanon (ATTAL), told Arab News: “The syndicate’s stance comes in response to a phenomenon that emerged a few years ago. Distinguished people have been holding lavish weddings for their children abroad, where they spend millions of dollars. This has not only been done by politicians, but also businessmen and senior employees, as if it has become a trend or an added value.”
The tourism leader said the situation was to do with Lebanese ego, but he emphasized that wedding parties held in Lebanon could be better than those staged abroad on all levels. “We have outstanding wedding planners who get employed to plan weddings abroad,” he added.
Abboud pointed out that the tourist season in Lebanon this year had so far been promising with the number of visitors from GCC countries, and especially Saudi Arabia, up on 2018 figures. He added that the 2019 draft budget approved by Parliament last week had not put “any burdens on the tourism sector.”
Chairman of the Hotel Owners Association in Lebanon, Pierre Al-Ashkar, estimated the cost of wedding parties held by Lebanese people abroad to be around $400 million, including hotel accommodation, purchases and transportation, in addition to the expenses of the wedding itself.
He said: “There is no longer a difference between politicians and businessmen who choose to hold their children’s wedding parties abroad. It is true that these weddings are no more than a few hundred, but their expenses are huge and, therefore, deprive Lebanon of this money.”
Al-Ashkar pointed out that the number of tourists choosing Lebanon this summer had risen, highlighting a significant 30 percent increase in the proportion of visitors from Europe.
“However, the number of tourists from GCC countries, especially Saudi Arabia, has not been as we had wished,” he added.
“Maybe this is because these tourists, who have not been visiting Lebanon for five to seven years, now have business in other countries or investments in tourist places outside of Lebanon, especially as some countries now offer incentives to attract tourists carrying certain passports and residence permits.”