Adidas drops Kanye West following his anti-Semitic comments
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Adidas has cut ties with Kanye West after he made anti-Semitic comments on social media, bringing a brand deal to an end after almost 10 years.
The 45-year-old rap star – who caused controversy when he posted anti-Semitic messages on social media and prior to that wore a White Lives Matter t-shirt during fashion week – released his first pair of Air Yeezy sneakers with the shoe brand in 2013 but the company has decided to stop working with him in light of his recent comments.
In a statement, Adidas said: “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.
After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products, and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.
This is expected to have a short-term negative impact of up to €250 million 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. More information will be given as part of the company’s upcoming Q3 earnings announcement on November 9, 2022.”
The news comes just hours after the ‘Stronger’ rapper – who was previously married to reality superstar Kim Kardashian and has North, nine, Saint, six, Chicago, four, and three-year-old Psalm with her – declared that he could say whatever he wanted about Jewish people and his contract with Adidas would be safe.
He tweeted; “I can say antisemitic s*** and Adidas cannot drop me.”
In recent days, Kanye West – who initially claimed he was going to “wake up going death con 3 on Jewish people – has faced a slew of brands refusing to work with him because of his comments, including the likes of Vogue magazine.
A Vogue spokesperson told the New York Post’s Page Six “that neither the magazine nor does its editor-in-chief Anna Wintour intend to work with Kanye West again”.
And an insider told the publication: “Anna has had enough. She has made it very clear inside Vogue that Kanye is no longer part of the inner circle.”
Balenciaga also ended its relationship with Kanye, who only recently opened Balenciaga’s summer 2023 show during Paris Fashion Week.
Parent company Kering told WWD: “Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist.”
Creative director Demna Gvasalia is a close friend and collaborator of Kanye but his recent anti-Semitic rants are said to have led to the brand ruling out any future work with the rapper.