Adidas plans to keep the Yeezy brand alive … just in a different name.
Kanye West, now known as Ye, and Adidas are no longer together as the retail giant announced on October 25 that they have ended their partnership following his recent anti-Semitic comments.
“Adidas does not tolerate anti-Semitism and any other form of hate speech,” the company said in a statement. “Yes’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate our company values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”[ads1];
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But Adidas said Wednesday during a quarterly earnings call, via Business Insider, that it still intends to sell shoes and more with Yes designs, just without the Yeezy name.
Adidas added that they may have a release as early as next year.
The collaboration between Ye and Adidas began in 2013, and while the Yeezy brand took off, it’s never been smooth sailing between the two sides.
ADIDAS TERMS PARTNERSHIP WITH KANYE WEST OVER ANTI-SEMITIC COMMENTS
Ye was frustrated with the company last time for releasing a slide similar to his Yeezy Slide, and he battled with management publicly.
“I no longer stand for this blatant copying,” he wrote in June on Instagram.
However, Adidas is the “sole owner of all design rights registered for existing products,” CFO Harm Ohlmeyer said via Business Insider, meaning they have the rights to continue producing Ye-inspired merchandise.
Adidas had immediately stopped production of Yeezy-branded products and all payments to Ye and his companies when the partnership ended. The move had an expected negative short-term effect of up to 250 million euros.
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“I can say anti-Semitic things and Adidas can’t let me go. Now what? Now what?” Ye said on the Oct. 16 episode of the “Drink Champs” podcast, which has since been removed.
Adidas’ first move that would eventually end the partnership came in early October when Ye wore a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt during a fashion show in Paris while calling the Black Lives Matter movement a “fraud” via social media. Adidas said the partnership was “under review” at the time.
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Adidas isn’t the only retail brand to drop the Ye. Gap and Balenciaga have also dropped him.