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Adidas Places Yeezy Partnership Under Review

Kanye West arrives at the Balenciaga show in New York. The musician recently aired grievances with his Yeezy brand's partners, Adidas and Gap.
Adidas has placed its Yeezy sneaker partnership under formal review. (Getty Images)

The German sportswear giant has broken its silence over the dispute with Ye, the artist and designer formerly known as Kanye West, who accused the brand of effectively shutting him out of his namesake sneaker line in a series of now-deleted Instagram posts in August and early September.

“After repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation, we have taken the decision to place the partnership under review,” an Adidas spokesperson told BoF in an email Thursday.

“We are proud of our team that has worked tirelessly throughout our collaboration with Ye and the iconic products that were born from it,” the statement added. “We also recognise that all successful partnerships are rooted in mutual respect and shared values.”

Ye’s representatives were not immediately available for comment.

The news comes days after Ye courted controversy once again at Paris Fashion Week, unleashing a torrent of Instagram posts attacking industry figures, some of whom had criticised the Monday night presentation of his YZYSZN9 collection, which featured a T-shirt emblazoned with “White Lives Matter,” a slogan widely associated with hate groups.

Terminating the Yeezy deal, which is set to run until 2026, would constitute a significant dent in Adidas’ revenues. Sales for Yeezy’s Adidas sneakers grew 31 percent year-on-year to nearly $1.7 billion in 2021, accounting for nearly 7 percent of the brand’s annual revenue, according to Bloomberg News, which cited private documents from banking firm UBS.

On Sept. 4, Ye claimed to his 17 million Instagram followers that Adidas had offered him a $1 billion buyout from his Yeezy venture. Ye also targeted Adidas’ chief executive, posting an image of a mock New York Times obituary, which read “Kaspar Rorsted also dead at 60.” Later, he posted a series of images singling out the brand’s senior vice president, Daniel Cherry III, as well as screenshots of the bios of members of the Adidas executive board.

Learn more:

The Ye and Adidas Conflict, Explained

The sportswear giant caught lightning in a bottle with its Yeezy partnership, but the artist’s accusations against the company have turned the deal sour.

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