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‘Virtually Indistinguishable’: Kanye West and Walmart Dispute Over Yeezy Knockoff Sneakers

Walmart is prepared to have its day in court with rapper and fashion designer Kanye West

A spokesperson for the retail giant recently spoke to TMZ about the lawsuit filed by the Grammy Award winner, in which the Chicago native claimed that the store was allegedly selling an “unauthorized exact copy” of his highly sought-out Yeezy Foam Runners. 

Kanye West is seen arriving to the 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)

On Thursday, June 24, the media outlet reported that according to legal documents filed in California court in Los Angeles, California, West said that the shoes — labeled as Daeful Mens Womens Kids Summer Beach Shoes Foam Runner Anti Slipper Sandals Casual Beige on the Walmart site — replicated the designed for the Foam Runners and are “virtually indistinguishable.”

The suit also lists reviews from the site, seemingly backing up their claims, as one customer wrote, “My son has been wanting the Yeezy slides, but these look similar and are much more affordable.”

The “Jesus Walks” rapper also alleged that selling the shoe could cost his company, Yeezy, hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. According to the site, the beige sandals are sold between $21.99 and $22.99 a piece, while the Yeezy Foam Runner had a retail price tag of $75 when it were released in June 2020. The shoe’s popularity is proven in its resell value, as some have even sold for over $800.

The lawsuit states that West asked the retailer to remove the shoes from its site. Still, the company refuses, adding 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.”

However, Walmart says that the shoes aren’t technically being sold by them but instead by third-party sellers. In a statement to the media outlet, the spokesperson 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.”

This is West and Walmart’s second dispute to date. In April 2021, the discount retailer said that West’s “rays from the sun” logo design he wanted to use for Yeezy looks very much like the brand’s 13-year-old sun logo. As of today, Walmart has removed the alleged Foam Runners rip-offs from its website.

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