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Kim Kardashian will rename her “Kimono” shapewear line backlash

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Kim Kardashian has heard your complaints. The TV star, business mogul, and aspiring lawyer will rename her forthcoming shapewear brand of bodysuits and other Spanx-like underthings, after its original name, Kimono, raised concerns of cultural appropriation.

“I am always listening, learning and growing – I so appreciate the passion and varied perspectives that people bring to me,” Kardashian said on Monday morning in a trio of tweets. “When I announced the name of my shapewear line, I did so with the best intentions in mind.

“My brands and products are built with inclusivity and diversity at their core,” she continued, “and after careful thought and consideration, I will be launching my Solutionwear brand under a new name. I will be in touch soon. Thank you for your understanding and support always.”

The rebrand comes just a week after Kardashian unveiled her line of “shapewear and solutions for women” via Twitter on June 25. Although some of her followers (including fellow celeb Chrissy Teigen) praised the brand’s wide array of styles for women of diverse body types and skin colors, others called out Kardashian for borrowing the word for a traditional Japanese style of dress for her venture. (Kardashian has a habit of inserting her first name into whatever she’s selling — like her emoji line, “Kimoji” — but in this case, the approach is a little more tenuous. “Kim” is already part of “kimono,” and kimono is a … type of clothing. That’s about it.)

The kimono has evolved since its beginnings during Japan’s Heian period (794 to 1185 AD), which saw many men and women wearing the wide-sleeved, ground-skirting outfit on a regular basis. The modern kimono — with longer sleeves and a wider waist tie — arrived during the 1600s and has remained virtually the same ever since. Because the kimono is a heavy, expensive, and delicate piece of clothing, the garments are typically worn today in Japan during formal occasions only, and with a sense of pride.

But the kimono’s striking look — sweeping sleeves and a robe-like construction, often adorned with intricate designs — have given it international renown. And that has often led to appropriative takes on the Japanese fashion, with many brands crafting their own drapey “kimono” cardigans and shawls, which tend to be modeled by white women and loosely inspired by the real thing. Prior to Kardashian’s recent controversy, Japanese writers had called out the fashion industry for its seeming obsession with the kimono.

“Contrary to what Orientalist art and contemporary brands might have you believe, kimonos are not just clothes,” Emi Ito, a Japanese American blogger and educator, wrote earlier this year. “They are garments worn for celebrations, sacred ceremonies, and life’s milestones. They are part of our family stories, which for some of us, are the stories of what was left behind and the people who are no longer with us.”

Loose-fitting shawls are one thing — but traditional kimono can hardly be called “sexy” in the way that Kim Kardashian’s shapewear line, which is intended to be skin-tight by nature, seems meant to evoke.


Heidi Klum wears a kimono-inspired jacket at Paris Fashion Week earlier this week — one that borrows heavily from the traditional style but is divorced from its context.
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

In response to Kardashian’s brand announcement, Japanese visual artist Mariko Umeda pointed out in a tweet that shapewear is at odds with the general concept of the kimono.

“Nice underwear, but as a Japanese woman who loves to wear our traditional dress, kimono, I find the naming of your products baffling (since it has no resemblance to kimono), if not outright culturally offensive, especially if it’s merely a word play on your name,” Japanese BBC News editor Yuko Kato said, asking Kardashian to “reconsider” the name of her line.

As a non-Japanese person, and one seemingly unaware of the kimono’s cultural history, Kardashian continued to receive blowback throughout the week that followed the announcement. The name even briefly inspired a hashtag, #KimOhNo, to call out the poor branding. The criticism only intensified when Business Insider reported that Kardashian had filed a trademark application for the word “kimono.”

At first, Kardashian stood behind the name and her decision to trademark it. “I understand and have deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture,” she said in a statement to the New York Times on June 27. She added that trademarking the word “will allow me to use the word for my shapewear and intimates line but does not preclude or restrict anyone, in this instance, from making kimonos or using the word kimono in reference to the traditional garment.”

Even the mayor of Kyoto, one of Japan’s major cities, weighed in, asking Kardashian to reconsider her plans in an open letter.

“We think that the names for ‘Kimono’ are the asset shared with all humanity who love Kimono and its culture therefore they should not be monopolized,” wrote Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa.

But now Kardashian has reversed course, to the satisfaction of her Japanese followers and others who had called for her to change the name. Based on Kardashian’s not-great track record with cultural appropriation, however, her next challenge will be to avoid making the same mistake with her next branding attempt.





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    July 25, 2019 at 10:48 am

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Tom Ford Badass (01) Eye Color Quad Extreme Review & Swatches

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Badass (01)

Tom Ford Beauty Badass (01) Eye Color Quad ($88.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a new eyeshadow quad that features four shimmery shades: soft taupe, eggplant, dark gray, and deep black. The formula in the palette felt different than past iterations from the brand, even the more baked variety (which has a similar, raised edge in the pans).

Instead, the eyeshadows in the quad have more slip, felt more cream-like, than past releases, which gave them a denser, thicker feel and better grip with higher intensity from the get-go. It’s not a texture that I feel like is dominant in the marketplace yet, but it did heavily remind me of some of the denser, creamier (yet still more powder than cream) formulas seen in the Pat McGrath Blitz Astral quads, which makes me wonder if it is something slightly newer that will eventually trickle down to more brands in 2020.

Badass #1

Badass #1 is a light taupe with neutral-to-warm undertones and a bright, metallic finish. It had good pigmentation applied dry that built up to full coverage, but application with a dampened brush yielded richer coverage immediately and gave it a deeper hue overall.

The texture was smooth to the touch, dense, and more cream-like than other “baked” formulas from the brand. It needed to be applied with a heavier hand or a flat/firm brush to pick up product initially, though the color applied well and blended out easily on my skin. This shade stayed on well for nine hours before fading a bit.

Badass #2

Badass #2 is a deep purple with a more satiny sheen and subtle, warm undertones. The consistency was smooth, dense, and a bit thicker in the pan, and while it had the shape of the more baked-like formulas from the brand, it actually felt more cream-like and emollient, though it was still more powder-like than truly a cream. It had opaque pigmentation regardless of whether it was applied wet or dry. The color applied well to bare skin and blended out without difficulty. It lasted nicely for nine hours before fading noticeably.

Badass #3

Badass #3 is a deep gray with cool undertones and a sparkling finnish. The color applied deeper than it appeared in the pan–almost as if all the shimmer floated over the underlying pigment–and had a denser, richer texture that was like a cream-powder hybrid (though more powder than cream).

It worked better with slightly firmer, denser brushes and a moderate-to-heavy hand–there was no powderiness kicked up. This shade yielded nearly opaque coverage applied with a dry brush and opaque coverage with more noticeable sparkle with a dampened brush. It wore well for nine hours with slight fallout over time.

Badass #4

Badass #4 is a deep black with subtle, cool undertones and fine, multi-colored micro-sparkle throughout. The creamier, more emollient texture–like a cream-powder hybrid that felt and acted more like a powder on my skin–gave it better adhesion and hold of those sparkles, so they translated during application.

It had a denser feel, and while it blended out without too much effort, it needed to be paired with something softer to really give it an even edge. It had opaque pigmentation applied wet or dry, though the dampened application yielded richer payoff with less product and more depth. It stayed on well for nine hours before fading noticeably.



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Gillian Meek, President of Keds, Talks the Importance of Authenticity – Footwear News

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In the age of Instagram and Snapchat, what consumers most want is authenticity, concurred the Bad Ass Business Executives (B.A.B.E.) panel onstage at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology on Thursday, Dec. 5.

Panelist Jennifer Edwards, mindset director at trend forecaster WGSN, added that “people are emboldened and empowered to be themselves,” rather than to try and be perfect.

“We’re a generation living in a time when people are more educated than they’ve ever been,” Edwards explained. “They have the ability to be themselves. And what’s really going to shine through is authenticity.”

Heritage sneaker brand Keds is making strides toward greater authenticity by looking back at its history. The label made a commitment in 2016 to “talk the talk and walk the walk” by homing in on women’s product, according to president Gillian Meek.


(L-R): Moderator Lynette Brubaker Harrison with panelists Melissa Walker, Fran Hauser, Katie Kitchens, Jen Edwards and Gillian Meek.

CREDIT: Courtesy of B.A.B.E./Sarah Merians

“We decided in 2016 that we were going to focus on our women’s history to be authentic,” Meek said. “It’s important for us to have a different point of view than who we compete against. With any consumer products, you have to be different. Otherwise, why would you buy my brand?”

Going into 2020, the brand has rolled out a “Women Made” platform, which Meek said means “don’t put me in a box, don’t define me, I can be a thousand different things on any day.”

But the exec said Keds, which was founded in 1916, has “a lot of work to do” still to remain relevant.

“Our consumer, we’ve spent a lot of time listening to her over the past year, and she is pushing us to look more like her today,” Meek said. “For me, we have to be really careful; we have to be really honest. We can’t change our history, but we certainly have to be more inclusive, more open and more relevant to what our consumer is looking for.”

Co-panelist Katie Kitchens, founder of subscription box service FabFitFun, said her consumers are also looking for authenticity, which is something she’s strived to find with her influencer marketing.

“We really look for women and men showcasing their most authentic selves across their social media networks. It’s OK to see everything isn’t perfect,” Kitchens said, explaining that she looks more for strong engagement than for high follower counts.

“When Jennifer Aniston tells me to go buy vitamin water, that’s fine. I mean, a very talented, beautiful, amazingly rich actress is telling me to do that,” Kitchens added. “But frankly, when Lisa Rinna tells me to do something, I’m like, ‘Oh hey, friend, I totally loved what you were doing last weekend and believe that I deserve this FabFitFun box.’”

Other panelists included investor Fran Hauser, author of “Myth of the Nice Girl,” and singer Melissa Walker, founder of Jazz House Kids.

Below, Gillian Meek explains how her career led her to Keds.

Want more?

How Keds President Gillian Meek Climbed the Corporate Ladder

Keds President Gillian Meek on How to Succeed in the Shoe Industry as a Woman

Keds Released Shoes Inspired by Betty & Veronica From the ‘Archie’ Comic Books



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