Keeping Up With The Kardashians: Kim Kardashian faces cultural appropriation backlash over Kimono brand
As she prepared for its September launch, Kim posted a photo of the campaign on social media, and almost immediately began hearing the name was offensive.
'Who would ever think that hey, I would want to do something that would be disrespectful?' wondered Kim, 39. 'They're saying that I'm cultural appropriating.'
Cultural misappropriation: Kim Kardashian grappled with claims of cultural appropriation from her Kimono shapewear line on Sunday's episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians
In a confessional, she noted that she'd had no idea of the firestorm coming her way once she announced the line to the public.
'We brought the name to retailers,' Kim explained. 'There was a lot of people that could have chimed in and said that they felt like this was not an appropriate brand name, and nobody did.'
'Foolishly, and ignorantly, we never thought that it would be a problem.'
Making matters worse, her team had printed the logo on 'hundreds of thousands' of garments and ditching them entirely would cost around $10 million.
New name: The 39-year-old reality star received immediate backlash over the Kimono brand name and decided to change it
Traditional garment: News articles were shown about Kim facing allegations of cultural appropriation
As Kim weighed what to do, she heard from the mayor of Kyoto, Japan, who wrote her a thoughtful letter detailing what 'kimono' meant.
'Kimono is a traditional ethnic dress, and truly symbolizes sense of beauty, spirits and value of Japanese,' she said, looking at it on her phone.
'Reading that letter I felt an understanding,' she observed in a confessional. '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 feel uncomfortable.'
Comfort brand: Kim in a confessional said she 'definitely did not want to disrespect a culture'
She resolved to change the name, finally settling on SKIMS, which sounded like skin, after putting it to a vote among the staff of her shapewear venture.
'I always have loved the one-syllable names,' she opined. 'I think they're really powerful, and it just rolls off the tongue. And I'm extremely visual, so symmetrically, it looks really cool.'
'It's easy, it works, it flows, and I just know that this is the right thing to do,' Kim added.
Hand vote: The name SKIMS was floated by Kim to her staff and they raised their hands in approval
Other names bandied about included KKW, with the 'W' standing for 'Wear,' and 'Kim Barely.'
Kim's team then resolved to have new labels printed to cover the Kimono ones, while on mesh garments they would cut them out and replace them entirely.
It would save millions and help them make their launch, by the skin of their teeth.
Launch deadline: Kim's team then resolved to have new labels printed to cover the Kimono ones, while on mesh garments they would cut them out and replace them entirely
'So it's not the end of the world,' Kim sighed, relieved.
As she worked on that problem, she and sister Kourtney, 40, also planned a joint birthday party for their daughters, North West and Penelope Disick, about to turn six and seven.
It would have an 'old-school Candy Land' theme, said Kim, proposing the girls' names be spelled out in donuts and cupcakes, per a dream Penelope had.
Birthday dream: Penelope shared her birthday dream with aunt Kim
But as they rode to a store to go shopping together, the sisters warred over what candy to feature, as Kourtney wanted organic versions of classic candies, which put Kim off.
'There's just better solutions to things instead of like, your dated candy that's like, literally food coloring that gives people diseases,' Kourtney told Kim, annoying her.
'Kourtney has this vision of no sugar or no disgusting chemicals in candy, but it's like, a completely sugar-free, gluten-free, party-free, fun-free zone,' Kim complained.
Candy theme: Kourtney lobbied for organic versions of candy, but Kim disagreed
Fun free: Kim in a confessional complained, 'Kourtney has this vision of no sugar or no disgusting chemicals in candy, but it's like, a completely sugar-free, gluten-free, party-free, fun-free zone'
Kourtney said traditional candy didn't jibe with her 'brand,' or the healthy lifestyle she stood for and she couldn't believe her sister wanted the kids eating junk.
Aspiring lawyer Kim seized on the wellness theme, saying: 'Then why does your car have leather seats? Why are you wearing plastic glasses?' as Kourtney ignored her.
Each sister privately called their younger sibling, Khloé Kardashian, 35, to vent.
Healthy lifestyle: Kourtney said traditional candy didn't jibe with her 'brand,' or the healthy lifestyle she stood for and she couldn't believe her sister wanted the kids eating junk
Party planner Sharon Sacks insisted they figure it out, but Kourtney just took over.
Kim and Khloé met her at home, and found a stash of candy from mom Kris Jenner, 64.
'Don't you just feel it, when you eat that, that it like, sucks the life and youthfulness out of your skin?' Kourtney asked, calling candy the 'biggest, number-one cause of aging.'
Party talk: Khloe mediated a talk between Kim and Kourtney over the birthday party plans
'No, it makes me feel like a kid inside,' said Kim, privately calling her a 'buzzkill.'
The sisters decided to throw their own parties, both starting that Saturday at 2 pm, but after Khloé brokered a discussion, they changed their minds, and decided to compromise.
Kourtney approved the use of candy and sugar, saying 'you only live once,' although she noted that there ended up being 'not one healthy item at the party.'
Candy theme: Kim gained approval from Kourtney for the use of candy and sugar
Still, her daughter got her wish, as the girls' names were spelled out in candy—and when their individual birthday cakes were sliced open, reams of candy spilled out.
As the sugar-fueled kids jumped on trampolines and ran around on a Candy Land path, one parent was heard to say: 'I want to be them for the day.'
'I can't believe I'm saying this…' Kim admitted. 'Way too much candy. Like, I'm running around apologizing to parents, like, I'm so sorry for your sugar rush.'
Fun party: Children at the party jumped on a trampoline
Popular game: The birthday party for Penelope and Kim's daughter North had a Candy Land theme from the board game
Too much: Kim admitted there was 'way too much candy' at the party
'Mine didn't even eat it really, because they don't eat it, really, and sugar is an addiction,' Kourtney said. 'So maybe you'll listen to your older and wiser sister next time?'
'I still wouldn't,' Kim said, continuing to argue.
As the sisters sorted out their differences, Khloé and Kris dealt with another issue: Khloé's continuing need to control her surroundings.
Birthday girl: Penelope blew out the candles on her cake
Joint party: North also blew out candles at her birthday party
It came to the momager's attention when the two of them took a meeting with producers at Khloé's house to finalize her new online series: Khloé And True Take The World.
They planned to film the 'five-to-seven-minute' episodes at Khloé's, and then shoot 'mom and daughter out in the world, kind of like, little snippets,' the producers said.
But Khloé couldn't concentrate, because out of the corner of her eye, she saw a mark on the wall of her newly renovated home and all she wanted to do was erase it.
Digital series: Khloe and Kris Jenner took a meeting with producers at Khloé's house to finalize her new online series: Khloé And True Take The World
'If I know about something, I obsess over it, and I can't stop thinking about it,' she noted, scrubbing it off as soon as everybody was gone.
Later, she lay on the floor, buffing out scuffs in front of the fridge, as her mother watched.
'Khloé is the most organized, cleanest, most obsessive person I know in her own home,' Kris said. 'But lately she's on another level.'
Floor scuffs: The reality star got on the ground to rub out scuffs on her kitchen floor
'The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree,' she added, noting that she, too, had been a compulsive organizer, but decided to stop before it drove her crazy.
As Kris observed, Khloé pushed True's shopping cart out of the way, and said that she'd tested her one-year-old's toys on the floor to see if they'd scuff.
'You have a child now,' Kris pointed out. 'Things get buffed and scruffed.'
Obsessive behavior: Kris was alarmed that Khloe was being so obsessive about cleaning
Kris urged Khloé to see Sheva Rajaee, MFT, an 'exposure therapist' who could help her deal with the anxiety she was feeling, though her daughter didn't think it was a problem.
Khloé agreed, then got up to spray another mark off the wall.
When she met with Sheva, the founder and director of the Center for Anxiety and OCD, in Irvine, California, she still didn't think it was an issue.
Exposure therapist: Sheva Rajaee, MFT, an 'exposure therapist', met with Khloe at her house
'To me, I think, my OCD is more like a pro, rather than a con,' Khloé told her. 'I feel like once everything is organized, I feel really good; I know where every single thing is.'
Sheva pointed out that it seemed like an organized home helped soothe Khloé, so she proposed that she 'mess something up' to make her feel a little out-of-control.
She had Khloé go into her kitchen and move a grapefruit into a pile of artichokes on the counter, which made the Good American founder uneasy.
Feels good: Khloe said she considered her OCS more 'like a pro, rather than a con'
Next, Sheva looked into Khloé's fridge, saying she'd 'heard about' it before.
'They're done in a color system,' Khloé said. 'It's red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and then it's, you know, it's supposed to be like a rainbow.'
'Can we mess the rainbow up a little bit?' Sheva asked, suggesting they mix two colors up.
Mixed up: Sheva had Khloé go into her kitchen and move a grapefruit into a pile of artichokes on the counter, which made the Good American founder uneasy
Color system: Khloe had items in her refrigerator placed with a color system
Khloé swapped two very similar colors as Sheva said, 'Okay. How does that feel?'
'It makes me excited for you to leave,' Khloé admitted, as Sheva went on to twist some perfectly arranged books on a table.
'Being the control freak that I am, this experience is torture,' Khloé noted privately, saying the minutes felt like years.
Control freak: In a confessional, Khloe said, 'Being the control freak that I am, this experience is torture'
Her homework assignment was to mess up her closet and sit with it in her 'filthy space until the buzzer goes off,' she said.
Kris came in and found her, telling her daughter how proud she was of her.
'What I take away from this experience is taking pride in your home and your things,' Khloé considered later. 'There are thing that I like. They just can't have power over me.'
Closet test: Khloe's homework assignment was to mess up her closet and sit with it in her 'filthy space until the buzzer goes off'
But when True toddled in, she ended up showing the girl how to organize.
Over dinner later, she told her family how she'd been helped by the therapy, to which Kris replied by dumping pasta on her table.
'So something like that wouldn't bother you?' the momager asked.
Family dinner: Kris listened as Khloe told her family how she'd been helped by the therapy
'Well, I don't know why someone would do that, but…' Khloé said, staring at it.
Kim asked the same question of her sister, and threw pasta at her, then Kourtney poured a drink on the table, and Kris threw a whole salad.
It descended into a full-on food fight, with food flying left and right.
Food fight: A food fight broke out as Kris and her daughters tested Khloe's new outlook
Bothersome behavior: Khloe couldn't believe that her family was throwing food around
'Am I bothered by this food fight right now?' Khloé asked in a confessional. 'Who the f*** wouldn't be bothered by this?'
'This is, in any normal person's world, bizarre, disturbing and unacceptable.'
'If you can laugh at this, and realize that we're a little bit of jokesters, and breathe, then I think you're doing A-OK,' Kris said.
Good speech: Kris told Khloe that if she could laugh at the food fight, she was doing fine
At that moment, Kim crept up behind Kris and poured ice tea over her head.
'S***, Kim! You little piece of s***!' her mother screamed, right before Kim doubled back and rubbed chocolate cake in her face.
'It's in my nose!' Kris cackled, as her boyfriend, Corey Gamble, 39, licked it off.
'Okay, so who's gonna clean this s*** up?' Khloé asked.
Keeping Up With The Kardashians will return next week on the E! network.
Sneak attack: Kim sneaked up on her mother while she was talking and doused her with iced tea
Cake face: The momager was tricked by Kim who offered her a towel and then smashed chocolate cake in her face
Good one: Kris cursed at Kim and vowed to get her back after she was left with cake on her face