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You Almost Have to Respect This $900,000 Kanye West Fashion Week Scam

Longtime Kanye West songwriter Malik Yusef allegedly used a fake charity affiliation and a forged Kanye signature to extract $900,000 from fashion designer Philipp Plein in exchange for a New York Fashion Week performance by West that the rapper/producer apparently never knew about, TMZ, The Blast, and Page Six report.

Plein believed they booked West through Yusef to perform at a black-tie dinner and runway show on Monday (February 11). The fashion house reportedly advanced the money to Yusef-affiliated entities and featured West’s name prominently on the event invitation before discovering Yusef failed to communicate any of this with Kanye. “We were beyond excited to work with [West] but unfortunately an individual pretended to be part of his management team and acted without Kanye’s knowledge, capitalizing on a former friendship with him,” a Philipp Plein representative said in a statement.

West was to perform three songs with an orchestra and bring with him six children affiliated with a charity that West co-founded and named after his late mother, according to a contract reviewed by The Blast. The Blast reports Plein agreed to donate $500,000 to the foundation. Unfortunately, no one from the fashion house saw the report last June that West is no longer affiliated with the organization formerly known as Donda’s House, now called Art of Culture Incorporated.

Rhymefest, another former West songwriter who currently manages Art of Culture, said the organization was not involved in the negotiation. “We don’t want the work we are doing to be sullied by this situation. It is unfortunate,” Rhymefest told The Blast. Yusef, with a level of brazenness that you kind of have to respect, told The Blast that he was “not aware” of any problems with the Philipp Plein deal.

A source told Page Six that Plein is now “desperately trying to book acts” for Monday’s show.