While Kanye West has yet to open up an official shop for his personal footwear line, China is already way ahead of the self-proclaimed genius.
Chinese social media users have recently posted photos online of a fake Yeezy shop in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province which offers a colorful range of knockoff Yeezys. The shop is conveniently located right beside Newbunren — which is not to be confused with Niubanlun or New Boom.
According to a report from Huanqiu.com, the Chinese language version of the Global Times tabloid, the replica shoes at the shop sell for a reasonable fraction of the cost of authentic Yeezys in China, where limited supply has allowed merchants to charge exorbitant prices. For example, a pair of Yeezy Boost 350s might retail at 5,000 yuan in China, but are on sale at the shop for just 999 yuan.
Still, you might notice a few, slight differences between the knockoff Yeezys and the genuine articles. Most noticeably, rather than reading “SPLY-350,” they simply say “Yeezy 550.” Chabuduo.
Though, the shop also allows you the option of customizing your Yeezys to your own liking with personalized designs and colors.
Meanwhile, it appears that Kanye West has not learned from the mistakes of his predecessors. The owner of the shop, surnamed Hu, told Huanqiu.com that he wasn’t worried about the legality of his business because he registered the “Yeezy” trademark in China back in 2013 and authorities had confirmed to him that it is valid.
For some perspective, that’s two years before Adidas even released its first Yeezy-branded sneaker.
In China’s shady realm of copyright law where trademarks are essentially “first come, first serve,” a number of Western companies have lost out to Chinese copycatters. Last year, one Chinese company was granted the right to sell its leather products with the label “IPHONE” after a judge ruled that it had registered the trademark before iPhones arrived in China.
However, last week, a Western brand was granted a rare victory in an intellectual property infringement case in China when a Suzhou court ruled that the managers of “New Boom” must pay New Balance $1.5 million in copyright damages for blantantly infringing upon the American company’s logo.
[Images via Huanqiu.com]
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