Why is Kanye West suing Walmart? Fake Yeezy foam shoes sell for $21.99 a pair on site
Kanye West is suing Walmart for reportedly selling a replica of his famous foam shoe design for a fraction of the cost, according to newly revealed legal documents obtained by TMZ on Thursday, June 24.
West and his brand, Yeezy, say that the retail giant cloned his iconic Yeezy Foam Runner worth $75, leaving shoppers unsure whether they were getting the real thing or a knockoff. This comes days after Adidas released information about West's brand new set of Yeezy Slides, a high-priced exclusive line of shoes, which is hugely popular for their comfort and style.
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A look at the new Yeezy slides pic.twitter.com/yYeNIZ0TyD— XXL Magazine (@XXL) June 21, 2021
Why is Kanye West suing Walmart?
“Walmart is flagrantly trading off of his and Yeezy brand’s popularity by offering for sale an imitation version of the Yeezy Foam Runner,” according to the suit, as reported by The New York Post. The legal salvo goes on to claim that “the Yeezy brand is worth ‘billions' of dollars, and the potential loss from the imitation shoes in the ‘hundreds of millions.'”
According to West, Walmart's actions could cost Yeezy hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. As per the paperwork, Yeezy debuted its Foam Runner in 2019, and the footwear was released to the public in June 2020, selling out quickly at $75 each.
Kanye West and Yeezy are suing Walmart over the Foam Runner knock offs pic.twitter.com/fSZnokVe0T— Craig (@DebatingHipHop_) June 24, 2021
Yeezy alleged that Walmart then developed an "unauthorized exact copy" of the Foam Runner and has been selling it for just between $21.99 and $33.99 a pair, in order to cash in on Kanye's and the Foam Runner's popularity.
According to the lawsuit, Yeezy is concerned because the lookalikes sold on Walmart.com appear to be "virtually indistinguishable" from the real thing. “My son has been wanting the Yeezy slides but these look similar and are much more affordable,” a customer wrote on the site, according to the suit.
Kanye's side claims to have issued a legal warning to Walmart, instructing them to remove the shoes from their website and West and Yeezy are suing for a large sum of money. In a statement, Walmart said: “The product referenced in the complaint is not sold by Walmart, but rather by third party Marketplace sellers. We take allegations like this seriously and are reviewing the claim. We will respond in court as appropriate after we have been served with the complaint.”
Kanye West is suing Walmart for selling a knockoff version of his Yeezy Foam Runner https://t.co/r4kOUzmGlu pic.twitter.com/OqmzU7vGy7— Rap-Up (@RapUp) June 24, 2021
Yeezy has not had a completely smooth sail since its release. West, in 2020, faced backlash for naming Yeezy trainers- the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Asriel- after Islamic angels of judgment and death and was asked to apologize. According to a March 2018 report, the Yeezy footwear brand has been valuated between an impressive $3.2 billion and $4.7 billion.