Giuseppe Zanotti pulls 'Nicki' sneaker after Minaj criticism
Rapper Nicki Minaj has publicly called out Italian shoe brand Giuseppe Zanotti for using her name and fan base to help sell his “Nicki” sneaker, prompting Giuseppe Zanotti to pull the sneaker from stores.
Minaj argued that Zanotti did not have authorized use of Minaj’s name, nor did the brand agree to collaborate with Minaj. Giuseppe Zanotti has partnered with other celebrities including Kanye West and Zayn Malik, who all received compensation for their partnership with the brand. Minaj received nothing for the use of her name.
Minaj’s first name was used on 23 different styles of sneakers on Zanotti’s website, with the first pair being released in 2011.
Minaj detailed the story on her Twitter feed, stating, “This is wonderful. #GiuseppeZanotti seems to think it's ok to name his sneakers after me but his PR says they won't take our call. Lol. I met #GiuseppeZanotti years ago. At which time, he told me I inspired him to design a sneaker in my honor. Wore them on the cover of Cosmo … Recently when he gave other artists capsule collections, my agency reached out and was told they're not taking our call.”
Zanotti finally came forward and removed all of the sneakers from the brand's website without a press statement. Minaj then asked that all of the removed shoes be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
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