Kanye West has filed a lawsuit against Walmart, alleging that Walmart traded off his “popularity”, as well as that of his footwear brand, Yeezy.
According to documents obtained by TMZ, West’s team filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court, citing California’s Unfair Competition Law, which prohibits deceptive business practices. The lawsuit goes on to claim that Walmart could cost the billionaire rapper “hundreds of millions of dollars” in sales as the cheaper versions are easily confused with the genuine Foam Runners.
The knockoffs in question can only be found on Walmart’s website and retails between $21.99 and $33.99 a pair. Yeezy has sent Walmart legal warnings demanding that it yank the ripoff sneakers from its site.The suit alleges that the real and fake Yeezy Foam Runners are “virtually indistinguishable.” Although most have been taken down since the news of West’s lawsuit, coming up as “unavailable” or on “backorder” when searched.
A Walmart spokesperson, in response to TMZ, said the trainer was sold by a third party company on its website.
“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,” the spokesperson said.
The real Yeezy Foam Runners were introduced in June 2020 and the $75 shoes sold out immediately after their release. Their resale value ranges from $250 to $800. (An original pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1 sneakers worn by West at the 2008 Grammy Awards set a record at auction in April, selling for a staggering $1.8 million.)