Kanye West shows off the Yeezy Foam Runner in 2019. BRAD
BARKET/GETTY IMAGES FOR FAST COMPANY
Posted By Godwin Onyemaechi
Kanye West and his Yeezy sneaker label are suing Walmart, accusing the retail giant of selling fake shoes.
The complaint which was filed Thursday in California court in Los Angeles, claims the giant discounter has been selling fake versions of his bizarre-looking Foam Runner slides.
Introduced last year at a retail price of $75, the genuine Yeezy slides initially drew unflattering comparisons to Crocs. Nevertheless, they “instantly” sold out, and now sell for upwards of three times that on the secondary market, according to the suit.
YouTuber Brad Hall compares authentic Yeezy Foam Runners, left, to an approximately $20 pair of knockoffs (right). | Image: Yahoo
“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.
The document noted that “the Yeezy brand is worth ‘billions’ of dollars, and the potential loss from the imitation shoes in the ‘hundreds of millions.’”
It stated that celebrities are often seen photographed in the Yeezy brand, which in turn “enhances the brand’s popularity and appeal to the general public.”
According to the lawsuit, Yeezy is “losing market shares” with the imitation shoes allegedly harming the reputation and the goodwill of the rapper’s brand.
Walmart appears to have removed most of the counterfeit Foam Runners from its web site, though some could still be found in a search of its site on Thursday afternoon, Fox Business reported.
Walmart issued a statement to TMZ Thursday explaining that the product in question was being sold via their platform by a reseller, and not the company itself.
“The product referenced in the complaint is not sold by Walmart, but rather by third party Marketplace sellers,” a company rep told the outlet.
“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.”