Kim Kardashian takes Skims brand from appropriation outcast to Team USA Olympics fame

A woman with long, dark hair sits and speaks.
Kim Kardashian’s Skims shapewear line will have a presence at the Olympics this summer in Tokyo.
(Willy Sanjuan / Invision / Associated Press)
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When members of the U.S. Olympic team finally lounge in Tokyo starting late next month, they’ll do it in gear from Kim Kardashian’s Skims line.

The reality-TV star and entrepreneur broke the news Monday on Instagram, where she also got props from Olympian stepparent Caitlyn Jenner.

“Ever since I was 10 years old, I’ve heard every single detail about the Olympics from my stepdad. 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,” Kardashian wrote.


“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.”

Kim Kardashian West launched a shapewear line Tuesday with the unfortunate name Kimono Solutionwear.

June 25, 2019

“Wow! Full circle! Amazing! So so proud. Love you. Congratulations!!!,” said Caitlyn Jenner, who won the decathlon at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. The athlete and Kris Jenner married in 1991, when Kim Kardashian was 10, and divorced in 2015.

Skims, of course, is better known as the line that was almost called Kimono. Kardashian responded to the uproar in 2019 by declaring that she had “innocent intentions” when she trademarked the word, which has deep meaning in Japanese culture.

She quickly changed the name to Skims before putting her shapewear on the market and then adopted inclusive models, including Alice Marie Johnson, a 66-year-old grandmother she helped free from prison.

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June 3, 2021

Along with the announcement, Kardashian posted photos of various athletes wearing the Team USA gear: undergarments, PJs and loungewear. Swimmer Haley Anderson, sprinter Dalilah Muhammad, basketball player A’ja Wilson, soccer player Alex Morgan and paralympian Scout Bassett all posed for the announcement and got thanks from Kardashian in her post.

Bassett’s photo is perhaps the most striking, as she’s posed in a sports bra and underwear, revealing her prosthetic right leg. The Chinese-born athlete lost her leg after a chemical fire when she was a newborn and was subsequently abandoned. She was adopted by an American couple when she was 7. Now 32 and using the prosthetic leg, à la runner Oscar Pistorius, she competes in track and field.


(Incidentally, there is now a Team USA American Girl doll out in Bassett’s likeness, she announced Sunday.)

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June 28, 2021

“Thank you @skims @kimkardashian for supporting Team USA! I’m so honored to be part of a campaign that celebrates female athletes,” swimmer Anderson, a USC graduate, wrote on her Instagram page along with a photo of herself in Skims. Wilson, the WNBA’s reigning MVP, did the same, as did Muhammad, a former USC athlete whose 2019 world record in the 400-meter hurdles was just broken Sunday.

The loungewear will also be available to nonathletes in a limited-edition capsule collection available July 12 on the Skims website. Those who are interested can sign up for early access.

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, postponed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is scheduled to run July 23 through Aug. 8.


7:02 p.m. June 28, 2021: This post was updated with further information about Skims’ limited-edition Team USA capsule collection.