Kanye West’s Yeezy clothing line is coveted by fans who love its drapey fits and modern silhouettes. So are his bulbous sneakers. But supporters may find themselves waiting a while to receive their Yeezy purchases — and those delays allegedly violate California’s business code.
That’s according to a lawsuit filed by the state of California against West’s fashion business Oct. 22 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
The lawsuit alleges that the musician’s Yeezy Apparel and Yeezy companies violated a section of state business code that requires items sold over the internet to be shipped within 30 days — and if they aren’t, the merchant must provide a refund, or pursue another of several prescribed remedies, including issuing a delay notice.
The civil complaint against West’s two La Palma-based companies was filed by L.A. County Dist. Atty. George Gascón, who is joined in the matter by the district attorneys of Alameda, Napa and Sonoma counties.
West, 44, is best known in fashion for a minimalist range of out-there athleisure wear and a popular, long-running footwear collaboration with Adidas. While various online retailers offer Yeezy items, West’s companies also sell them via the website yeezysupply.com.
The district attorneys alleged in their complaint that West’s businesses failed to give customers adequate delay notices on items than hadn’t shipped within 30 days; these messages are required by the state to detail the expected length of the delay and offer a refund upon request.
Among other claimed violations of the business code, the complaint also alleged that Yeezy Apparel and Yeezy made untrue or misleading statements about their ability to “ship products within a certain timeframe, particularly where customers paid an additional charge for expedited shipping.”
The lawsuit did not provide an exact date when the alleged violations of the state code began.
There is no public record of West’s companies’ response to the allegations. A representative for his fashion business did not immediately respond to requests for comment and Gascón’s office declined to comment.
The musician, whose net worth is pegged at $1.8 billion by Forbes, has long been interested in fashion. He began dabbling in apparel and footwear in the late-2000s, collaborating with companies include A Bathing Ape, Louis Vuitton and Nike. Later, he forged the partnership with Adidas, which has produced Yeezy sneakers since 2013. West struck a deal with Gap Inc. last year to design adult and kids’ clothing for the San Francisco-based apparel giant. The first items from the effort were released earlier this year; in September a $90 sweatshirt sold out within hours of debuting.
West’s Yeezy sneakers have for years been coveted by footwear aficionados, and often trade for many multiples of their list prices on the secondary market. With some pairs fetching thousands of dollars, the interest in the shoes has led to widespread counterfeiting.
Gascón and the other district attorneys are seeking a judgment that would permanently restrain West’s companies from repeating the alleged practices, as well as fines of as much as $2,500 for each breach of the state business code, along with restitution for affected consumers.
Times staff writer Adam Tschorn contributed to this report.
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