Adidas has put its Yeezy partnership under review amid a week of drama surrounding Kanye West.
An Adidas spokesperson said in a statement to FN that the decision was made “after repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation,” adding that Adidas “will continue to co-manage the current product during this period.” In recent weeks, West has been vocal about his own intentions to terminate the contract.
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Over the last month, Kanye West has used Instagram to express his disappointment with Adidas, which manufactures his Yeezy brand. In a series of now-deleted Instagram posts, the rapper-turned-fashion mogul repeatedly called out Adidas for allegedly copying his designs, as well as not giving him enough control over his products and not opening up Yeezy stores, among other grievances. West also suggested he wanted to terminate his deal with the company and have Adidas pay him $2 billion in damages.
The statement from Adidas comes days after West’s controversial Yeezy SZN 9 fashion show, in which he was spotted wearing a black long-sleeved T-shirt with the words “White Lives Matter” emblazoned on the back. He has since doubled down on his stance on Instagram despite widespread backlash. West took particular heat for his social media bullying of Vogue fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, who he later met with in Paris.
The Monday event represented the brand’s first show since it introduced the Season 8 fall collection in 2020 and occurred a month after West said in an interview with Bloomberg that it was time for him to “go it alone” and cut ties from the corporate entities linked to his Yeezy brand, namely Adidas and Gap.
In its statement, Adidas said “that all successful partnerships are rooted in mutual respect and shared values.”
After designing for Nike, West signed a deal with Adidas in 2013. In June 2016, Adidas and West announced they had extended their partnership, calling it a “Yeezy-branded entity creating footwear, apparel and accessories for all genders across street and sport.”
“Adidas has always been about creativity, innovation and supporting athletes and artists to achieve their vision,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “The Adidas Yeezy partnership is one of the most successful collaborations in our industry’s history. We are proud of our team that has worked tirelessly throughout our collaboration with Ye and the iconic products that were born from it.”
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