Taking Ye out of Yeezy: Adidas is going to continue selling Kanye West’s shoe designs without Yeezy name
Athletic wear brand Adidas is still going to be making Yeezy shoes, it just won’t call them that anymore.
The brand severed ties with rapper Kanye West, known now as Ye, over anti-semitic comments he made and refused to apologise for. Adidas and Ye collaborated for the highly lucrative Yeezy line and while the terms of their partnership were not disclosed, last month the brand announced it was ending their collaboration.
“After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately,” read the statement. Adidas said it would “end production” of the highly successful Yeezy line designed together with Ye and “stop all payments to Ye and his companies”.
The abrupt end to the collaboration between the sportswear brand and rapper would slash Adidas’ net income in 2022 by “up to 250 million euros ($246 million)”, it estimated.
On Wednesday, CNN reported that the company said it’s the sole owner of all Yeezy line. CNN estimates that selling the sneakers under Adidas’ own branding will save the company about $300 million in royalty payments and marketing fees.
“Going forward, we will leverage the existing inventory with the exact plans being developed as we speak,” Adidas finance chief Harm Ohlmeyer said.
The publication cited Morgan Stanley and said Yeezy products generated nearly $2 billion in sales for Adidas last year and made up 8% of the company’s total sales. Ending the partnership cost Adidas more than $250 million in profit and $500 million in lost revenue, the company said on Wednesday.
Ye’s anti-semitic comments
A number of companies and publications distanced themselves from Ye after his anti-semitism.
The reactions were sparked after a single tweet, which he has since refused to apologise for. In the tweet, he wished death upon the Jewish people and then added how “funny” it is that he “cannot be anti-semitic because people of colour are also Jew”. He claimed that people had “toyed” with him and tried to “blackball anyone whoever opposes” their agenda.
He later went on to brag during a podcast that Adidas wouldn’t drop him no matter what he said. “I could literally say anti-semitic sh*t and Adidas can’t drop me. I could say anti-semitic things and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?” he said during a Drink Champs podcast. Later, Ye said he lost $2 billion over his rant.