Adidas says its partnership with Kanye West and Yeezy is ‘under review’

The sneaker company says their decision to place the partnership under review was made after ‘repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation’

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Thursday 06 October 2022 20:19 BST
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Adidas has announced it is reviewing its relationship with Kanye West amid ongoing criticism from the Yeezy designer.

On Thursday, the athletic company said in a statement that it would be placing the Adidas Yeezy partnership, which began in 2013, under review after “repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation”.

In the statement, Adidas began by acknowledging that the Adidas Yeezy partnership has been “one of the most successful collaborations in our industry’s history,” and that it is proud of the team that has “worked tirelessly” throughout the partnership with West, and of the “iconic products that were born from it”.

However, Adidas also said that “all successful partnerships are rooted in mutual respect and shared values”.

“After repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation, we have taken the decision to place the partnership under review. We will continue to co-manage the current product during this period,” the sneaker brand said.

Following the statement, West reacted to the news on his Instagram, where he captioned a screenshot of the report and wrote: “F**K ADIDAS I AM ADIDAS ADIDAS RAPED AND STOLE MY DESIGNS.”

The company’s aforementioned statement comes after repeated and public criticisms from West, who has expressed his disappointment with the German brand and its CEO Kasper Rørsted on numerous occasions. In June, the rapper alleged that Adidas had copied his Yeezy designs with its Adilette 22 slides. “This shoe is a fake Yeezy made by Adidas themselves,” he claimed.

In early August, West accused Adidas of inventing Yeezy Day sneakers without his permission. Last month, West used his Instagram account to take aim at Rørsted again, when he claimed that the Adidas CEO was “dead”.

Despite the ongoing feud, West appeared to suggest that Yeezy and Adidas could continue to make their partnership work during an interview with Bloomberg last month, after initially expressing his desire to “go it alone”.

“It’s time for me to go it alone,” he said on 12 September. “It’s fine. I made the companies money. The companies made me money. We created ideas that will change apparel forever. Like the round jacket, the foam runner, the slides that have changed the shoe industry. Now it’s time for Ye to make the new industry. No more companies standing in between me and the audience.”

However, West then acknowledged that his partnership with Adidas is expected to go until 2026, at which point he said: “They my new baby mamas. I guess we’re just going to have to co-parent those 350s.”

The sneaker company’s statement regarding the status of its relationship with West also comes amid a week of turmoil for the rapper, who has faced intense backlash after wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt at his Yeezy fashion show in Paris.

The Independent has contacted Adidas and West for comment.

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