Kanye West accuses Adidas of copying Yeezy designs: ‘I’m not standing for this blatant copying no more’

‘These shoes represent disrespect that people in power have to talent’

Peony Hirwani
Tuesday 14 June 2022 07:15 BST
Kanye West hands out free Yeezy footwear to Ugandan children

Kanye West has accused Adidas of copying the design of his Yeezy slides.

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.”

(Kanye West/Instagram)

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.

In June 2021, Ye sued Walmart for “flagrantly trading off” his brand of Yeezy footwear.

Kanye West’s 2019 Yeezy slides and Adidas’s Adilette 22 (Adidas)

The rapper alleged that Walmart traded off his “popularity”, as well as that of his footwear brand, Yeezy, in a court filing seen by TMZ and The Blast.

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”.

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