A tweet from Canada’s Vancouver-based online shoe seller Sole Savy, and an article published on wegotthiscovered.com, suggests the German sportswear giant filed a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requesting a mark for the 350 V2 Granite shoe, which would have been part of its highly popular Yeezy line, but now will bear no mention of its namesake, the hip-hop artist and presidential hopeful formerly known as Kanye West.
The only problem is the trademark dates back to 2018.
Trademark expert Susan Scafidi, founder and director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School in New York, said the trademark in the Twitter post is legitimate. USPTO records show it was originally applied for in 2016 and registered in 2018, along with a “specimen” of the Yeezy Boost brand, showing the mark was actively in use.
The Twitter page for Sole Savy appeared to display photos of the new shoe line, emblazoned on the side with the letters “SPLY-350”, consistent with the trademark request, though the images are not known to have appeared anywhere else.
So are the photos real?
“It’s hard to tell whether they’re real or courtesy of the magic of Photoshop, but they definitely resemble the original image that Adidas used in seeking the trademark,” Scafidi said. “If Adidas intends to go forward as opposed to retiring the designs along with the relationship with Kanye, this would be the most direct way to go.”
Using the Yeezy designs without the Yeezy name might indeed be the best path forward for Adidas, as it seeks to recoup the millions Adidas stands to lose in potential revenue with nothing standing in place of the shelved brand.
In October, Adidas ended its collaboration with West, who in recent years had gone by the syllable Ye, after the rapper-turned-fashion mogul made repeated incendiary comments against Jews on multiple podcasts and later appeared as a guest on the show of bankrupt conspiracy theorist Alex Jones where West stated that he “liked Hitler.” Twitter also removed Ye’s post saying he was “going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”
Neither Adidas nor Sole Savy responded immediately to Sourcing Journal’s requests for comment.