Walmart is accusing Kanye West of copying its logo with his new Yeezy branding

GettyImages 488589090 NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Kanye West poses during the finale of Yeezy Season 2 during New York Fashion Week at Skylight Modern on September 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Randy Brooke/Getty Images for Kanye West Yeezy)
Kanye West poses during the finale of Yeezy Season 2 during New York Fashion Week in New York City in September 2015.

  • Walmart has challenged a logo trademark application submitted by Kanye West’s Yeezy brand.
  • Walmart claimed Yeezy’s proposed logo is so similar to its own that consumers might think the brands are affiliated.
  • That could hurt Walmart’s brand, the company said in a USPTO filing first reported by Bloomberg,
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Walmart has filed a complaint to the US Patent and Trademark Office, claiming a proposed logo design for Kanye West’s Yeezy brand looks too much like the retail giant’s own logo.

In its complaint, filed last week and reported Tuesday by Bloomberg, Walmart argued that Yeezy’s proposed design “is likely to cause confusion, mistake and deception” among consumers, potentially causing them to mistakenly associate Yeezy’s products with Walmart.

Yeezy’s proposed logo consists of eight three-dot spokes radiating outward in a star-like pattern. Walmart’s logo, which the company has used since 2007, has six solid spokes with rounded ends.

walmart yeezy kanye west logos
Yeezy’s proposed logo (left) compared to Walmart’s current logo (right).

Walmart claimed consumers’ potential “false affiliation” between the two brands could “injure and damage” Walmart and the “goodwill” associated with its own brand.

Representatives for West and Yeezy did not respond to requests for comment.

Yeezy, a shoe collaboration between West and Adidas – and soon to include a clothing collaboration with Gap – has helped make West the richest Black American in history. The collaborations are reportedly worth a combined $3.2 billion to $4.7 billion, while West is now worth an estimated $6.6 billion.

Walmart, which said in its complaint that it also collaborates with celebrities, had a market cap of $389.3 billion when markets closed on Tuesday evening.

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A pair of shoes Kanye West wore at the Grammys in 2008 just broke the record for the most valuable sneaker sale ever

Yeezy prototype
  • Sneakers worn by Kanye West shattered the record for the most expensive shoes ever sold.
  • The Yeezy prototypes West wore at the 2008 Grammys were sold to RARES, a sneaker-investment platform.
  • The shoes went for $1.8 million, more than triple the previous record for a recorded shoe sale.
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In 2008, Kanye West wore high-top black Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototypes on stage at the Grammy Awards, where he performed “Stronger” and “Hey Mama.” Now, those same sneakers have sold for $1.8 million to RARES, a sneaker-investing platform. The shoes are the prototype of West’s Yeezy line, and they’re the most expensive sneaker sale ever recorded.

The pair of Yeezy sneakers was the first recorded shoe sale to top $1 million, according to New York-based auction house Sotheby’s. The sneakers were the first-ever shoe in West’s Yeezy line, which, in the years since, has contributed to West’s becoming a billionaire and a major player in sneaker and streetwear culture.

Ryan Chang, who listed the shoes at Sotheby’s and collects and curates streetwear under the handle of @applied.arts.nyc, worked with Sotheby’s on the sale to RARES.

RARES will launch sales of shares of the sneakers on June 16, according to the platform’s website, which entreats users to “own a piece of the world’s most valuable shoe.”

RARES said that users can “reserve a spot” to buy shares of the valuable sneakers. Users create an account and are notified when shares of the shoe open up for sale. RARES sells these and other sneakers as SEC-approved investments and allows for collective ownership of the shoes.

Shares of shoes sold on the platform usually run between $15 and $25, according to the company. Gerome Sapp, the CEO of RARES, said in a press release that acquiring the Yeezys worn by West would allow “millions of individuals the ability to now invest in the culture.”

The Yeezy prototypes dethroned another Nike Air model for the title of most expensive sneakers sold at auction – the Nike Air Jordan 1s signed and worn during a game by basketball star Michael Jordan. They sold in May of 2020 at Sotheby’s for $560,000.

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Kanye West’s first pair of Yeezy sneakers are expected to sell for over $1 million, making them the most expensive pair ever

Kanye West at 2008 Grammy awards
Kanye West at 2008 Grammy awards

  • The first pair of Yeezys that Kanye West ever wore in public are expected to sell for over $1 million.
  • West debuted his sneaker brand during his 2008 Grammy performance.
  • Sotheby’s is selling the sneakers after an exhibition in Hong Kong wraps up.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The shoes that spawned Kanye West’s sneaker empire are going up for sale at the historic Sotheby’s auction house.

The Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototypes are expected to sell for over $1 million, according to Sotheby’s estimates, making them the most expensive sneakers to ever hit the market.

The shoes represent the first Yeezy sneakers ever worn in public by West when he debuted them at the Grammy Awards in 2008 during his performance of “Hey Mama” and “Stronger.” The shoes feature a faded Nike swoosh, alongside West’s signature Yeezy strap.

Yeezy sneakers on sale at Sotheby's
Yeezy sneakers on sale at Sotheby’s

The sneakers will be sold in a custom wooden box that features a design from the shoe’s designer, Mark Smith.

Yeezy sneaker box

The size-12 shoes will be on display at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center from April 16 through 21 and will be available for private sale through Sotheby’s site after the exhibition.

West’s 2008 Grammy moment created a buzz among sneakerheads and, ultimately, helped West achieve a billionaire status in 2020. Sneaker collector Ryan Cheng, who is listing the shoes for the private sale, said in a press release that the shoes encapsulate a cultural movement.

“There he was, Kanye West, on stage at the Grammys, winning 4 awards just that evening, and unveiling an incredibly important and iconic design in Nike’s storied history,” Cheng said.

Sotheby's Yeezy sale

The highest known sneaker sale to date was a pair of autographed Nike Air Jordan’s that were worn by Michael Jordan in 1985, according to CNN. The shoes sold for $615,000 in 2020 on Christie’s site.

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