In a now-deleted Instagram post, the 45-year-old rapper, who legally changed his name to Ye last year, accused Adidas’s CEO Kasper Rorsted of “copying” designs.
“This is Ye driving down the same street Kobe passed on,” he began his post. “Maybe I feel that Mamba spirit right now.”
“To Kasper, I’m not standing for this blatant copying no more. To all sneaker culture. To every ball player rapper, or even if you work at the store; this is for everyone who wants to express themselves but feel they can’t cause they’ll lose their contract or be called crazy,” Ye wrote.
“Bravery is not being afraid. Bravery is overcoming your fear for your truth. This Ye with the blue paint on my face,” he added.
Referring to Adidas’s new Adilette 22 slides, Ye wrote: “These shoes represent the disrespect that people in power have to the talent. This shoe is a fake Yeezy made by Adidas themselves.”
The Donda rapper ended his post by asking Rorsted to “come and talk to me”.
Adidas’s new Adilette 22 slides have a design inspired by “3D topography and human expeditions to Mars.”
Keeping nature in mind, the German sportswear brand said it made “these Adilette slides with natural and renewable materials as part of our journey to design out finite resources and help end plastic waste”.
Both Ye’s 2019 Yeezy slides and Adilette 22 bear at least some resemblance due to their marginally beefy texture, and earth-toned rubber slip-on pattern.
This isn’t the first time Ye is accusing a brand of stealing his designs.
An apparent copy of his Yeezy Foam Runner trainer, Ye argued, confused consumers with the $35 imitation found on Walmart’s website.
The Foam Runner sold for $75 a pair when they were first offered in 2020, and became iconic after selling out.
Attorneys for Ye reportedly said that Walmart “traded off” the popularity of him and Yeezy with the “unauthorised exact copy” of the Foam Runner.
Lawyers reminded the American retailer that the rapper’s Yeezy brand was worth “billions”, and that Ye “sets trends for everything he touches”.