Kanye West needs to pay up. The rapper-slash-designer and his Yeezy Apparel Inc. have been named in a fraud and breach of contract lawsuit for allegedly failing to make good on a $600,000-plus contract they signed. According to a complaint filed in Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles by counsel for Toki Sen-I Co, Yeezy Apparel and Mr. West, himself, are on the hook for failing to pay for the $624,051.76 worth of “various materials of fleece fabric to be used to Yeezy shoes” that they ordered from the Japanese textile firm.
“In reliance on [Kanye and Yeezy Apparel’s] representations” that they would purchase – and pay for – 53,000 yards of fabrics, based on the fact that Toki Sen-I Co had worked with “adidas and Yeezy in the past,” and because Yeezy Apparel is “a very well-known brand, run by a found celebrity, and that shows several millions of dollars in revenue,” Toki Sen-I Co claims that it had no reason to worry about whether or not the company would make good on a contract the parties entered into in June 2018.
Upon signing off on the deal, Toki Sen-I Co claims that it immediately “contracted with a mill and began a large scale production” in order to create the fabrics needed by West. However, the Japanese company would learn less than a month later that the representations made by Yeezy and co. “were intentional, false, and fraudulent [when] they refused to tender [a down] payment” for the fabrics.
The problem? “It was too late for [Toki Sen-I Co’] to cancel production.”
Toki Sen-I Co’s counsel alleges that while the company attempted to come to an “informal” resolution with West’s team, which “continued to represent [to Toki Sen-I Co] that they were interested in working on a resolution,” it became clear that they had “no interest in resolving the dispute or performing their obligations” in connection with the contract, thereby, breaching the duty of good faith and fair dealing that comes with the signing of every contract.
According to the complaint, Yeezy Apparel is “a mere shell and sham without capital, assets, membership interests, or members other than Kanye … intended, conceived [of], and used by Kanye as a device to avoid individual liability.” As for the deal at hand, Yeezy (i.e. West) “did not act in good faith and did not deal fairly in connection with the Purchase Order when they engaged with [Toki Sen-I Co] in negotiations and ultimately submitted the Purchase Order but refused to accept delivery [of the finished materials] or tender payment for the finished product.”
In addition to such alleged bad faith dealings, Toki Sen-I Co claims that Yeezy Apparel and West – which are both named as defendants, although adidas is not – “committed fraud on multiple occasions with malice and blatant disregard for the law.” As a result, Toki Sen-I is not only seeking $600,000-plus in damages, it wants triple that (more than $1.8 million) “for the sake of example” and for the purpose of “punishing the defendants.”
Reps for Yeezy Apparel and West were not immediately available for comment.
*The case is Toki Sen-I Co., v. Yeezy Apparel LLC, Kanye West, et al., 19-VECV-00110 (Cal. Sup.).