“Yeezy” collaboration between Adidas and rapper Kanye West before the end


The American rapper has been designing shoes and clothing under the Yeezy brand in collaboration with Adidas since 2015.

(Photo: AP)

Munich At the Paris Fashion Week a few days ago, Kanye West once again caused a little excitement. The rapper, now known as Ye, wore a t-shirt that read “White Lives Matter.”

This allusion to the “Black Lives Matter” movement triggered many discussions. But his father, West wrote on social media, was proud of him for the first time in 45 years.

At Adidas, Kanye West’s social media activities are likely to be notorious. In posts that he usually quickly deletes, he launched violent and sometimes very personal attacks on his cooperation partner from Germany and his manager.

Among other things, the 45-year-old accused the company of copying the design of the “Yeezy” shoes he designed and using them for its own Adidas models.

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In the past few weeks, the sporting goods group has been trying to talk to the creative, but also moody and erratic partner in the background. Vain. “After repeated attempts to clarify the situation outside of the public eye, we decided to put the partnership to the test,” the Franconian sporting goods company finally announced.

Kanye West has long been a major revenue generator for Adidas

That was probably also an internal signal that you can’t put up with everything, it said in industry circles.

It’s a lot of money for both sides. For Adidas, West is an important figurehead and a significant source of revenue. In good times, according to industry estimates, the cooperation should have brought in sales of well over one billion euros. For comparison: Last year, Adidas achieved sales of a good 21 billion euros.

Adidas Yeezy model Boost 350

Rapper Kanye West has been designing shoes and clothing for Adidas since 2015 under the “Yeezy” brand.

(Photo: imago images/ZUMA Wire)

In the past, West had also called for more influence at Adidas. He is said to have wished for a seat on the board of directors or the supervisory board. He is said to have accused the company of having changed the design and colors without his consent. The company had always remained silent on the allegations.

The group has now said that the collaboration is one of the most successful collaborations in the history of the industry. “Iconic products” were created from it. However, the following also applies: “A partnership is based on mutual respect and mutual values.”

The rapper has been designing shoes and clothing for Adidas since 2015 under the “Yeezy” brand. West receives royalties for this, according to media reports, several hundred million dollars a year. The contract runs until 2026.

A settlement of one billion dollars is in the room

According to speculation, the West group offered to end the cooperation in exchange for a settlement of one billion dollars. However, no final decision has been made as to how to proceed. According to industry circles, it is not completely out of the question that we will meet again.

Adidas had tried again and again to calm the waves. In August, CEO Kasper Rorsted called CNBC West “our most important partner worldwide”. They have a “very, very good relationship” with him and are proud of the partnership.

Kasper Rorsted

The group announced a few weeks ago that CEO Rorsted will be leaving early next year.

(Photo: AP)

The US fashion retailer Gap also noticed that West is not an easy partner. A cooperation with West that had only been running since 2020 was recently ended prematurely. At Gap, only the current “Yeezy” collection is to be sold off.

It could also come down to this at Adidas: During the review, “we will continue to have the current products,” the Adidas statement said.

In any case, Adidas now has another construction site. The group announced a few weeks ago that CEO Rorsted will be leaving early next year. The Dane had previously admitted to mistakes in the China business in an interview with the Handelsblatt. Adidas did not understand consumers well enough. “In this way we opened up the leeway for Chinese competitors who did it better.” Rorsted had to correct the annual forecast downwards twice.

According to information from the Handelsblatt from supervisory board circles, no successor has been found so far. In the environment of the control body, one continues to assume an external solution. But it won’t be easy to find an ideal successor.

The next Adidas boss must get the problems on the important Chinese market under control and improve the innovative power of the second largest sporting goods company in the world. In addition, an integrative leader is sought – there had been criticism of Rorsted’s leadership style.

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