How Does Kanye West Get Away With Selling $50 Church Socks?
“You know they say the best things in life are free,” Kanye West once claimed on his song “Good Life,” but apparently that doesn’t apply to the apparel he’s trying to license under the name Sunday Service.
The entrepreneur and rap artist is used to being in the headlines for a wide variety of topics. From his controversial political views to his public struggles with mental health to his marriage into one of the most talked-about families in the world to his foray into the fashion world, Kanye West is sure to grab attention wherever he goes.
The latest round of attention is coming from an interesting legal request. Mascotte Holdings, Inc., which has previously applied for trademarks on behalf of West, has recently filed for a trademark on the term “Sunday Service” when it refers to apparel including shirts, pants, loungewear, scarves, and—yes—socks.
What is going on with West’s new apparel venture and how does he get away with selling those $50 church socks? Let’s take a closer look.
Sunday Service is growing quickly
Sunday Service is West’s religiously-inspired weekly mashup of prayer and music. The event typically includes a gospel choir. West and high-profile guests, such as DMX, make frequent appearances. It has grown from a small get-together to a national phenomenon, and it is held in different locations across the country.
While Sunday Service draws a lot of fans, not everyone is on board. Chrissy Teigen, close friend of Kim Kardashian, has not yet made an appearance, citing her own family commitments on Sunday as the reason she’s too busy to attend.
Meanwhile, others have been left scratching their heads about just what West is up to. Some speculate that he is gearing up to start a full-fledged church. The artist has apparently talked about providing a service that offers religious guidance through a more creative, innovative experience rather than the traditional approach.
Kardashian seems to be on board as well, as she has explained that the religious work has been good for her husband’s health and healing.
Clothing is a big part of West’s current fortune
While most people recognize West as a musician, that’s actually not the main source of his income these days. In fact, as recently as 2016, the artist admitted to being deeply in debt.
Today, however, he seems to be finding his financial footing through the fashion industry. His shoe business, in particular, is a huge source of income and drives his brand’s image.
The trademark request could signal a new venture
The trademark request to give West exclusive rights over the use of the term “Sunday Service” on apparel items may mean that there is a new venture on the horizon. His past actions might signal the opportunities he has in mind for the brand.
At Coachella, West put on a Sunday Service and also sold associated merchandise. Many people were aghast about both the cost of products and the promotion of such sales on Easter Sunday. West’s merchandise featured $50 socks with phrases like “CHURCH SOCKS” and “JESUS WALKS” written across each of them. Other items included $70 T-shirts and sweatpants for up to $195.
While some may scoff at both the number on the price tag and the association of religion with such an entrepreneurial project, West’s decision to trademark “Sunday Service” for apparel suggests that there are plenty of people out there who are excited about the brand.
West has never shied away from controversy. Another line from “Good Life” says “and if they hate, then let ’em hate, and watch the money pile up.”
It appears that West is banking on enough support for his brand to silence the critics.