adidas is Ending its Partnership with Kanye West

Update (10/27):

In an internal memo, Goodwill Southern California instructed to no longer accept nor sell any Yeezy-related product.

Update (10/26):

Kanye West showed up to Skechers Los Angeles headquarters uninvited and would later be escorted from the location.

Skechers USA, Inc., The Comfort Technology Company™, stated Kanye West – also referred to as Ye – arrived unannounced and without invitation at one of Skechers’ corporate offices in Los Angeles. 

Considering Ye was engaged in unauthorized filming, two Skechers executives escorted him and his party from the building after a brief conversation. Skechers is not considering and has no intention of working with West. 

We condemn his recent divisive remarks and do not tolerate antisemitism or any other form of hate speech. The Company would like to again stress that West showed up unannounced and uninvited to Skechers corporate offices.

Statement via Skechers

Update (10/25):

Foot Locker, Inc. has issued an official statement denouncing anti-semitism and hate. In addition, the company instructed its retail operators to remove all Yeezy footwear from its shelves.

Foot Locker, Inc. does not tolerate any form of anti-semitism, or hateful and discriminatory behavior.

While we remain a partner with adidas and carry a wide assortment of their collections — we will not be supporting any future Yeezy product drops, and we have instructed our retail operators to pull any existing product from our shelves and digital sites.

Foot Locker, Inc. statement via Footwear News’ Shoshy Ciment

Following the announcement of the partnership’s termination, Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, and Champs, have reportedly been instructed to remove all Yeezy products off of the floor.

adidas and Kanye West, who goes by Ye, are parting ways as the global footwear brand has announced that it is no longer honoring its contract with the artist and, ultimately, marking the end of the adidas Yeezy line.

The adidas Yeezy partnership started in early 2015 as the artist and the Three Stripes took over 2015 All-Star Weekend in New York with the release of the adidas Yeezy 750.

In the years that followed, the partnership delivered as Yeezys were seen all over living up to West’s “Yeezys for everybody” promise. However, West and his comments eventually became problematic for the brand and strained the relationship.

The decision from adidas arrives weeks after the brand released a statement that it was reviewing the partnership amid the latest social media tangent from the artist on October 6.

The riff between the brand and Kanye was ongoing as West and his antics were ongoing, including repeatedly wearing Nike product and condemning adidas about allegedly stealing Yeezy designs with the adidas adilette 22 and adidas FOM Q.

West also called out adidas and condemned adidas’ Yeezy Day, stating that he never approved it. Additionally, West repeatedly called out several high-level adidas execs, including Senior Vice President/General Manager Daniel Cherry, and even mocked the brand’s current CEO, Kasper Rorsted, with a fake obituary when he announced that he would be stepping down as CEO of the brand in 2023.

West also made it clear that he would not renew his contract with adidas, which was set to expire in 2026 as West stated that he would be going independent.

In addition to his remarks about the brand, West has been accused of making misogynistic, antisemitic, and overall harmful statements via his social media channels, which prompted adidas to review the partnership, including his “WHITE LIVES MATTER” shirt display during the Paris Fashion Week showcase of his YEEZY SEASON 9 collection on October 3.

Since then, West has doubled down on his remarks on numerous occasions.

West appeared on Fox News with Tucker Carlson on October 6 and discussed his reasoning for this “WHITE LIVES MATTER” shirt with Candace Owens. In addition to the two-part episode that aired, unreleased segments from the interview include West claiming that “the Jews” control the monetary system, that Planned Parenthood and its founder Margaret Sanger teamed up with the KKK to “control the Jew population” — “[w]hen I say Jew, I mean the 12 lost tribes of Judah, the blood of Christ, who the people known as the race Black really are,” he said.

On October 8, West tweeted that he would go “def con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE” and added that he can’t be anti-semitic because of his belief that Black people are “the real Jews” — a common belief among extremist Black Hebrew Israelite groups and other anti-semitic groups.

On October 10, West released the Last Week video on YouTube where he’s seen with four individuals with their faces blurred out.

It was later revealed by Complex’s Brendan Dunne that the men In the video were former adidas brand president Eric Liedtke, adidas chief creative officer Alasdhair Willis, Senior Vice President Torben Schumacher, and venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar.

In the 30-minute clip, West vents his frustration over the “stealing” of his designs, which Pishevar compares to “stealing a child.”

In the video, West also shows Schumacher a porn video saying that his voice is similar to that of the male individual in the film. West also uses the video as an analogy about how the brand has cheated on him and his designs.

On October 11, LeBron James’ The Shop executive producer Maverick Carter issued a statement that a recently recorded episode of the HBO Show with Kanye West would not air as West continued his anti-semitic and hateful remarks.

“Yesterday we taped an episode of The Shop with Kanye West,” Carter wrote in a statement to Andscape. “Kanye was booked weeks ago and, after talking to Kanye directly the day before we taped, I believed he was capable of a respectful discussion and he was ready to address all his recent comments. Unfortunately, he used The Shop to reiterate more hate speech and extremely dangerous stereotypes.”

On October 18, West was a guest on N.O.R.E’s and DJ EFN Drink Champs. In the 3-and-a-half hour episode, West continued his anti-semitic remarks, claimed that George Floyd died from fentanyl, and stated “I can say anti-semtiic things and adudas can;t drop me. Now what? Now what?”

The Floyd family filed a lawsuit towards West for $250 million over his false statements.

Balenciaga and Vogue announced on October 21 that it would cut ties with West.

“Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to the artist,” the company announced via a statement.

Additionally, Vogue editor-in-chief and longtime friend of West, Anna Wintour, reportedly “had enough” of West and his remarks, according to a source via Page Six, leading to the removal of images of West in his problematic shirt from its site & no longer having West at any fashion shows and/or events.

The Anti-Defamation League called adidas out to drop West following his most recent remarks.

On October 23, anti-semitic extremist groups hung “Kanye is right about the Jews” banners over the 405 freeway in Los Angeles.

On October 24, an adidas director called out the brand over its silence regarding West and his anti-semitic remarks.

On October 25, adidas issued a press release that the brand would terminate its partnership with West.

“adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful, and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect, and fairness.”

The termination will result in the end of production of all Yeey products and will cease all payments to West.

adidas stated the financial implications of the partnership’s end.

“This is expected to have a short-term negative impact of up to €250 on the company’s net income in 2022 given the high seasonality of the fourth quarter. adidas is the sole owner of all design rights to existing products as well as previous and new colorways under the partnership.”

The brand will make information available on November 9 during the brand’s Q3 earnings announcement.

Stay tuned to Nice Kicks on Instagram and Twitter for more updates as the story develops.

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