No knockoffs please! Kanye West is suing Walmart for allegedly selling shoes that very much resemble the Yeezy brand's "Foam Runner" shoe.
In legal documents via The Blast, the rapper believes that "Walmart is flagrantly trading off of his and Yeezy brand’s popularity by offering for sale an imitation version of the Yeezy Foam Runner." The original Yeezy shoe goes for $390 on farfetch.com where as the Walmart version sells at a mere $23.99.
The "Life Of Pablo" musician's legal team is being incredibly thorough because, according to the lawsuit, pictures were provided of both items that clearly show how similar in shape and design the two pieces are.
West and his team are claiming that "Walmart’s conduct is harming, and will continue to harm, West and Yeezy." The lawsuit continues stating that they have "no choice but (to sue) to stop Walmart’s unfair competition and profiting from the popularity of the success of West and Yeezy.”
The suit also states that "the Yeezy brand is worth billions of dollars, and the potential loss from the imitation shoes in the hundreds of millions."
The lawsuit does nothing short of heaping praise on to the rapper and fashion designer with statements like, “He sets trends for everything he touches” noting how powerful of a name he is.
The filing goes even further stating unapologetically, "Simply put, Kanye West is a household name, and the Yeezy brand, which has become synonymous with West, has become one of the most influential and successful brands in fashion."
Other interesting statements were made about how powerful celebrities being photographed wearing his products are. “Celebrities are regularly photographed wearing Yeezy clothing and footwear and using Yeezy products, which enhances the brand’s popularity and appeal to the general public.”
The Grammy nominee also calls out the way that the alleged imitation product was made even citing sub par reviews on the Walmart website. "Not only are West and Yeezy losing market share for their authentic Yeezy Foam Runner, but also their reputation and the goodwill of the Yeezy brand is being harmed by the association with the Imitation Shoe given its subpar quality, as evidenced by the consumer comments shown from the Walmart website."
According to the suit, one of the less than stellar reviews for the Walmart product read, "Fit is bad and foam broke while wearing. They come off as you step and lean forward. The real ones are so worth it for retail. Don’t buy this garbage."
A Walmart company spokesperson responded to the claim, telling TMZ, "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.."