NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Kim Kardashian's new underwear label, Kimono, has drawn accusations of cultural appropriation from Japanese people.
Kardashian has filed trademark requests using the word Kimono for her new line of women's shapewear and other items she plans to sell. However, the word Kimono refers to is a piece of traditional clothing in Japan, dating back hundreds of years and generally worn for important occasions like weddings, graduations or funerals.
"I think for her to trademark a word that belongs to another culture is a bit insensitive," said Celia Yu, a business owner in Midtown.
Despite the criticism, experts say it's quite possible that Kardashian could have her trademarks approved.
"The trademark office has permitted other people to register the mark ‘Kimono' for apparel and luggage and other goods. So in the view of the trademark office they don't have a problem with anyone using ‘Kimono,'" said Intellectual Property attorney Amy Goldsmith.
Several of Kardashian's filing shave already been rejected by the trademark office, while the rest are still awaiting decisions.
"It is completely unknown what the trademark office will do with her applications and with whether she can have rights to it or everyone has rights to it," said Goldsmith.