adidas now confirms that after the latest drop of Yeezys, they will not move forward with selling any of the merchandise without the Yeezy logos.
adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden announced an earnings call last week. He said that while the company has the legal right to do so, it won’t.
“The YEEZY product is something that [Ye] created, he’s the inventor of it and we have been his partner. To take his designs and sell them off later, which we technically legally could do, is not part of our strategy. Our task now is to limit the damage, get rid of the inventory, use the proceeds to good…and build a business later without YEEZY.”
adidas lost nearly a billion dollars after a lucrative partnership with the disgraced rapper and fashion designer.
West, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, went on an antisemitic rant last year, finally forcing adidas’ hand in November to shut down the popular brand. That left the German apparel company with little recourse except to announce they would divest of Yeezy stock by putting the rest of it up for sale and sharing some of the proceeds with social justice organizations.
But now that West has made his first foray back into the public eye, appearing onstage with Travis Scott in Rome, his brand value may be on the rise again.
Aside from the future drops of any more existing Yeezy product, this marks the end of one of the more lucrative partnerships in apparel. In its heyday, Yeezy helped adidas move closer to being competitive with the juggernaut that is Nike.
Its commercials, association with sports and pop culture celebrities and the towering domination of its Jordan brand put Nike on top, but Yeezy was heading in that direction. After joining up with adidas in 2013, West and his Yeezy brand increased its profits and made West a billionaire.
“Before that, adidas was irrelevant,” ShoeZeum founder Jordan Geller, who owns the world’s most extensive collection of sneakers, told the New York Times. “It wasn’t very popular with collectors. But when they signed Kanye, they instantly got street cred and became important.”
Though adidas reportedly made $565 million on the most recent Yeezy drop, surpassing estimates, the company is now in a quandary after facing the loss of its biggest seller. West has had little to say publicly since his last outbursts, but he also made money on the deal, as he was entitled to in his contract.
The company reportedly sold 20% of the remaining inventory in its last drop. But Gulden said that as they sell off the rest, the company’s earnings potential remains hard to predict. “The uncertainty on each of these drops is so big, and we don’t want to have people believing that we have sales and profits in the pocket.”
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the latest adidas Yeezy sale:
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