Kardashian West lobbied the president to grant Johnson clemency from a life sentence without possibility of parole. Now Johnson’s repping Kardashian’s product.
It was just earlier this week that Kim Kardashian West announced the updated name of her shapewear line, Skims (formerly Kimono). Since then, she’s been rolling out new imagery for the brand online — and on Thursday, she dropped the most interesting bit of content yet.
On Twitter and Instagram, Skims debuted a short video featuring Alice Marie Johnson, a woman from Tennessee who had been sentenced to life in prison before Kardashian West and her team of lawyers lobbied President Trump to grant Johnson clemency, according to USA Today.
Johnson, who was serving a life plus 25-year sentence without possibility of parole for a non-violent, first-time drug offense, has come to serve as something of a symbol of the need for American prison reform. In the Skims video, she shares a bit of her story and describes Kardashian West as her “war angel” because of the role she played in Johnson gaining her freedom.
“I didn’t even know who Kim Kardashian was,” Johnson quips in the video. “She went to war for me, to fight for my freedom.”
She then goes on to say, “this shapewear makes me feel that I could walk into the store, I could pick up something that I normally wouldn’t even think about wearing, and I could put it on, and it’s going to feel great on me. This shapewear makes me feel free.”
The connection between freedom from an unjust and racist prison system and freedom to wear something out of the ordinary seems tenuous at best. But still, the inclusion of Johnson in the campaign is a clever way of trying to convince customers who might still harbor ill feelings towards Kardashian West — due to cultural appropriation concerns over the original name of the line — that the mogul’s heart is in the right place.
Will it work? If Kardashian’s use of clever PR to flip narratives about herself in the past is any indication, the chances are good.
Homepage photo: Screengrab