Mayor of Kyoto asks Kim Kardashian not to use 'Kimono' to label her clothing line

Models, including Kim Kardashian, dressed in bodysuits from Kardashian's new clothing line called Kimono.
Models, including Kim Kardashian, dressed in bodysuits from Kardashian's new clothing line called Kimono.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - The mayor of Japan's ancient capital Kyoto has entered into an unlikely correspondence with Kim Kardashian, asking her to reconsider naming her shapewear line "Kimono".

The American pop culture icon sparked a social media storm last week when she unveiled the new line, with some in Japan and abroad accusing her of disrespecting the traditional outfit.

And now the mayor has waded into the debate.

"(I) ask you to reconsider your decision of using the name Kimono in your trademark," Mr Daisaku Kadokawa wrote in an English-language letter sent to Kardashian.

"Kimono is a traditional ethnic dress fostered in our rich nature and history," he noted, asking her to visit the city to experience kimono culture.

The reality television star told the New York Times that she had no plans to produce clothes that "would in any way resemble or dishonour the traditional garment".

Once a standard of the Japanese wardrobe, the kimono is now often reserved for special occasions, such as weddings and coming-of-age ceremonies, and is mostly worn by women.