Skims Olympics Deal Sees Kim Kardashian Bounce Back From Rocky Start

From accusations of cultural appropriation and a name change to dressing Olympians, Kim Kardashian's shapewear brand Skims has come a long way.

The reality star has now landed a deal with Team USA and her label will supply the undergarments and loungewear for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer.

The collection consists of sports bras, shirts, vests, cycle shorts and high-waisted briefs that feature American flags, the five Olympic rings and Team USA printed branding.

"Ever since I was 10 years old, I've heard every single detail about the Olympics from my stepdad," Kardashian wrote in an Instagram post.

"As I would watch the athletes compete, I would grow to understand the dedication and honor being a part of the Olympics embodied. I traveled w my stepdad and family to all different cities for the Olympic trials, the Olympics and track meets of @caitlynjenner's and at every stop I would buy an Olympic t-shirt as a souvenir."

The family has a strong connection with the Olympics, as Kardashian's stepfather, Caitlyn Jenner, won a gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Games.

"When I received the call inviting Skims to be a part of @TeamUSA, every moment I've spent admiring the strength and energy of the Olympians from the sidelines came full circle."

Kardashian said she is "honored" that Skims is designing the official team USA undergarments, pajamas and loungewear for the athletes this year in Tokyo.

The deal is a huge step for the brand which was previously involved in a cultural appropriation row involving Japan because of its original name, Kimono.

The brand originally launched in 2019 under the name Kimono, which was a play on words combining the star's name with the traditional Japanese dress.

The name prompted thousands of complaints and accusations of cultural appropriation against Kardashian with the hashtag #KimOhNo trending at the time.

When Kardashian started the process of trademarking the name, she received an open letter from the mayor of Kyoto who asked her to consider renaming the brand.

"We think that the names for 'Kimono' are the asset shared with all humanity who love Kimono and its culture therefore they should not be monopolized," Daisaku Kadokawa wrote, according to Insider.

Alex Morgan of the United States women's national soccer team wearing SKIMS. Getty/Instagram

Although Kardashian said the name was intended to be "a nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment," according to The New York Times, she issued a response saying: "My solutionwear brand is built with inclusivity and diversity at its core and I'm incredibly proud of what's to come."

Ahead of renaming the brand as Skims, Kardashian also said: "I understand and have deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture."

"My fans and followers are a huge inspiration to me. I'm always listening to their feedback and opinions, and am so grateful they shared their ideas for a new brand name," she wrote in a Twitter post. "After much thought and consideration, I'm excited to announce the launch of SKIMS Solutionwear."

The brand courted further controversy in September 2020 when a new maternity line was criticized after many women questioned why they should need shapewear while pregnant.

Responding to critics on Instagram, Kardashian explained that the maternity line is intended to support growing bumps not slim them.

"To anyone who has an issue with maternity solutionwear, and if you haven't been pregnant before you may not know the struggle of what it's like carrying all of this weight the way I did along with millions of strong women," she wrote on Instagram, according to Page Six.

"SKIMS maternity line is not to slim but to support," she explained. "The belly part doesn't slim your belly, it's actually sheer and a thinner layered material compared to the rest of the garment. It provides support to help with the uncomfortable weight being carried in your stomach which affects your lower back—and the compression on the leggings helps with pain relief caused by swelling."

Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian West celebrates the launch of SKIMS at Nordstrom NYC on February 05, 2020, in New York City. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Nordstrom