Kanye West has been accused of stealing the logo from a Black-owned design brand for his new “Donda” merchandise, The Daily Beast reports.
The founders of Infinity G8ds told The Daily Beast’s Cheyenne Roundtree that West met with them a week before releasing a shirt with a design that looks almost identical to their own.
On August 5, West sold $100 long-sleeved shirts for his listening event at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, according to The Daily Beast. The shirt featured an elongated Star of David with a cross in the center.
The design was similar to the logo stamped all over Infinity G8ds’ designs, only seeming to modify the Star of David and remove the infinity sign from the emblem.
Representatives for Kanye West and Infinity G8ds did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
Randy Dawkins, Infinity G8ds’ creative director, told The Daily Beast that he was first contacted by West’s team in late July.
Willie Wallace, West’s longtime personal executive chef, had heard of the brand through Travis Reese, a personal chef for West who was also a member of Infinity G8ds, Dawkins told The Daily Beast. He said Wallace asked him to send over a few of the brand’s pieces that he could show to West, and then called him once they received the shipment and put the rapper on the phone.
“I was on the phone directly talking to Kanye,” Dawkins told The Daily Beast. “He was like, Bro, I really love your design. It’s really dope. When can I meet you to talk about your process?'”
Dawkins told The Daily Beast that the group drove from Miami to Atlanta to meet with West on July 26 and had a 40-minute meeting with the rapper inside the stadium, where he has a studio.
“The conversation was pretty general,” Dawkins said. “He just wanted to understand our process. We explained it to him and broke it down. He was loving the whole idea, the whole design.”
“He started to sell us dreams about doing business with him,” he added. “He asked us to hang around for dinner, and we ate dinner with them. At the end of the meeting, he told us he was going to keep in contact with us but never did.”
Dawkins told The Daily Beast that Reese called him a week later and said he had spotted their logo on West’s merchandise. Now, he said the group is speaking out because they’re worried West’s design could damage the work they’ve already put into their small brand.
The group have also shared pictures on social media of an email that purportedly confirms their visit to West’s studio, as well as a video of an apparent phone call with the rapper.
Dawkins told The Daily Beast that West’s business manager has since reached out to Infinity G8ds but they have yet to reach a resolution, and that Reese has since been let go as West’s chef.
“To see him move in this type of way was like a misjudgment of his character for me,” Dawkins said. “From one Black artist to another Black artist, he could have said, ‘I see what you got going on, let’s help you gain some exposure, some visibility.’ That’s all we ask.”