Kim Kardashian West Faces Criticism at Launch of Her Shapewear Collection
Kimono was "fueled by her passion to create truly considered and highly technical solutions for every body," but critics were skeptical.
Kim Kardashian West, reality TV star, entrepreneur, mother of four, wife of Kanye and all-around social media phenomenon, is following up the success of her KKW beauty empire (which sold out two colors within 30 minutes when it launched in 2017) with a shapewear line called Kimono, offered in sizes XXS-4XL and in nine hues of nude.
Kardashian West announced Tuesday on Instagram (and in an accompanying press release) that she is ready to pull back the curtain on “this project that I have been developing for the last year” and that she has been “passionate about for the last 15 years."
In the release, she laments at having to cut up shapewear (like Spanx and similar brands) in the past to tailor it to specific outfits that revealed more than the design allowed: “Kimono is my take on shapewear and solutions for women that actually work. 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.” Her case in point: the Solution Short, an asymmetrical bike short-style shaper that is cut higher on one leg. The Kimono collection (which launches next month) includes traditional briefs, bralettes, a body suit, a thong panty, a bike short and the aforementioned asymmetrical panty-biker short.
According to the website, Kimono "is fueled by her passion to create truly considered and highly technical solutions for every body [type].” Yet that premise didn't sit well with some social media critics, who pointed out that the images of models teasing the new collection were anything but inclusive. One comment said: "She says 'for every body' but the only bodies shown are what society wants." Another said: "If you need a 4X model, I'm here!"
Kardashian West says she has also had a hard time finding colors of shapewear to match her skin tone, so Kimono will come in a range of nine colors (a trend towards inclusivity that is also offered in lingerie from brands such as Naja and Aerie, which launched its Real Me collection of bras, briefs and thongs in multiple shades of nude last summer, as well as Banana Republic's True Hues collection of underpinnings and footwear).
And Rihanna’s LVMH-backed Fenty Beauty line pioneered the concept in makeup, setting an industry precedent by offering 40 shades of foundation (since expanded to 50) since its 2017 launch in a range of colors to match a variety of diverse skin tones. Rihanna additionally introduced her size-inclusive Savage x Fenty line of lingerie last year, shown on size-inclusive models. And the singer has just released her second Fenty Maison collection, which debuted earlier this year. It was presented on a vast array of body types and lauded last week when styles were shown on mannequins with refreshingly realistic curves when the pop-up shop at The Webster in New York's Soho neighborhood was unveiled.
Beyond showing that size matters in her design and campaigns, Rihanna has spoken openly about inclusivity and body acceptance as a driving force behind her Fenty designs. She shared with E! News last week that she has experienced her own fluctuations in weight. Kardashian West might be faced with possibly taking a page from RiRi's playbook.