said Thursday it decided to place its partnership with musician and designer
under review, putting in doubt an arrangement that has produced the popular Yeezy collection of sneakers.
The German sportswear giant said its decision comes after repeated attempts to privately resolve disputes with Mr. West and that it will continue to jointly manage the current Yeezy product in its inventory.
Mr. West has criticized
on Instagram in recent months, accusing his fashion partners of stealing his designs and breaking promises to expand his ventures. Gap decided to end its relationship with Mr. West last month.
Adidas’s statement comes days after the artist wore a T-shirt reading “White Lives Matter” at his Yzy fashion show in Paris.
Mr. West, in an Instagram post Thursday, criticized the statement from Adidas. “I AM ADIDAS,” the post said, which included a claim that the company stole his designs. Attorneys who represented Mr. West in his disputes with Gap couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Adidas said its partnership with Yeezy was one of the most successful collaborations in the industry. Yeezy sneakers and other items, including clothing and sandals, created under the partnership have sold out quickly. “We also recognize that all successful partnerships are rooted in mutual respect and shared values,” the statement from Adidas said.
Mr. West’s ventures in sneakers date to at least 2006 when he first collaborated with Adidas on a shoe that was never released. A year later the rapper started working with
and eventually released the coveted Nike Air Yeezy II, widely known as the Red Octobers. The Nike partnership ended in 2013.
Items that the artist designed in collaboration with Adidas made their debut in 2015, and the parties entered a long-term partnership the following year.
In the arrangement, Mr. West lends the Yeezy brand to the company in return for royalties of about 15% of the sales of Yeezy products. The company designs and manufactures the products, and it also owns the designs as part of the deal, which is slated to run through 2026, according to people familiar with the deal.
Write to Inti Pacheco at [email protected]
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Appeared in the October 7, 2022, print edition as ‘Kanye West’s Yeezy Partnership Placed Under Review by Adidas.’