After coming under fire a few months ago, Kim Kardashian West came back to the shapewear game Monday with a new name and tweaked marketing strategy depicting her garments on bodies of all shapes, sizes and colours.
“After much thought and consideration, I’m excited to announce the launch of Skims Solutionwear,” the reality-TV mogul announced on social media, tipping her hat to “fans and followers” who shared their ideas for the new name and campaign.
With the Skims name, the 38-year-old also debuted a diverse host of new shapewear models. There are now a dozen women in the image, with their faces and full bodies shown, compared with the six relatively thin women whose torsos only had been pictured in the original.
In late June, when she first announced the line under the name Kimono — because “Kim,” get it? — she was quickly accused of cultural appropriation, and not for the first time. (See Fulani braids, an Indian headpiece and, well, blackface.) Even the mayor of Kyoto, Japan, chimed in. She was also dragged for not using any plus-size models in marketing materials for the brand.
Kardashian initially defended the Kimono name, but she caved on it about a week later, saying she had announced Kimono “with the best intentions in mind.”
Among the first suggestions from her followers for a new name, KimBody and — surprise! — sKim Wear.
“I’m the first person to say, ‘OK, of course, I can’t believe we didn’t think of this.’ I obviously had really innocent intentions,” Kardashian told the Wall Street Journal shortly after the controversy bubbled up. She explained that she had misunderstood the cultural significance of kimono.
A little more than a month later she delivered a progress report, explaining how she was working on how to change to a new name without wasting the nearly 2 million garments already imprinted with the old one. “I do not want to be wasteful,” she said.
Skims Shapewear comes out September 10 and now features items in sizes ranging from XXS to 5XL, one size larger than the original plan.