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Kanye West Trademark Filings Hint at Brick-and-Mortar Ambitions

Iconoclastic creative Kanye West is laying out plans to disrupt the industry with his own retail stores, according to new trademark filings.

Under his holding company Mascotte Holdings Inc., West filed an application for ownership of the service mark “YZYSPLY” on June 29. The designer plans to use the trademark to promote services like retail storefronts and e-commerce, as well as a wide range of apparel, footwear and accessories, from T-shirts to jerseys, cargo pants, jeans, jackets, sneakers, boots, sandals swimwear, hats, belts and more, the filing said.

West also filed for trademark ownership of the service mark “Yeezy Supply” on the same day. The Yeezy creative director has been dropping limited-edition merchandise on YeezySupply.com, including sought-after styles from his footwear line with Adidas. The filings suggest that West is looking to solidify control of the web channel’s service mark, perhaps in order to build out an e-commerce marketplace for his fashion lines and collaborations. They also reveal a desire to branch out into the realm of branded physical stores, as most West-developed products have only been available at third-party retailers or locations managed by creative partners like Adidas or Gap.

While West’s fashion drops often generate considerable buzz, efforts to manage his own sales channels have seen mixed results. The Yeezy Supply website has received 614 Better Business Bureau complaints, mostly related to delayed or missing orders. Following his short-lived run for president in 2020, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) launched an investigation into West’s campaign, alleging that it sold campaign memorabilia like hoodies and hats to minors and failed to deliver the orders. Donations to West’s campaign totaled $2 million—most of which were generated by the sale of merchandise. The investigation into the campaign committee and its use of funds is ongoing.

Last week, West was also targeted in a lawsuit by New York fashion rental service David Casavant Archive, which claims that the artist borrowed and failed to return 13 rare designer pieces, and has neglected to pay monthly rental fees on those items for well over a year.