When Kim Kardashian first revealed that she was launching a shapewear line, she announced its name as Kimono, a move that instantly garnered a huge amount of backlash. She later changed the line's moniker to "SKIMS," reflecting on the switch during Sunday's episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
"My intention wasn't ever to offend anybody. Foolishly and ignorantly, we never thought that it would be a problem," Kardashian said, adding that it was "frustrating" to her that she and her team didn't think about potential implications of using the moniker.
"I just feel kind of dumb. Like, why didn't we think about this?" she continued. "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."
Fans were upset that she was using the word kimono, which is a traditional Japanese item of clothing, for her own purposes, though Kardashian released a statement at the time explaining that she had meant it to be a play on her name. During the episode, the makeup mogul explained that receiving a letter from the mayor of Kyoto, Japan, Daisaku Kadokawa helped her to realize that she had to take the situation "really seriously."
"He was very thoughtful and very kindly explaining to me the meaning of kimono and why that's so important to their culture," she said. "Reading that letter, I felt an understanding. 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."
The mom of four ultimately decided to change her brand's name to SKIMS, which she declared to be "the right thing to do."
"I need a name that really does speak to me the way that Kimono did," she said. "[SKIMS] is easy, it works, it flows."
After making that decision, the reality star and her team needed to figure out a way to repurpose the garments they had already made, which had a "Kimono" label on the inside. If she couldn't, Kardashian worried that the company would "lose $10 million." Ultimately, they found a solution after they "tried and tested hundreds of different approaches to remove the old branding." The mogul recently shared on Instagram that the repurposed pieces will be included in the brand's restock on Nov. 20.
Photo Credit: Getty / Rodin Eckenroth