Adidas to rename Kanye West Yeezy products in 2023
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Adidas plans to sell Yeezy products by Kanye West under a new name as they continue the brand into 2023 after cutting all ties with the controversial rap star.
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, though they intend to continue producing the footwear into 2023.
Adidas Chief Financial Officer Harm Ohlmeyer said during a Q3 earnings call on Wednesday (09.11.22): “Going forward, we will leverage the existing inventory with the exact plans being developed as we speak.
“It should refrain from relaunching items under its own brand, as they will always be synonymous with West, and this would likely result in muted customer demand.”
The Adidas boss previously explained that because Adidas is the “sole owner” of all rights to the Yeezy brand, they intend to continue making the footwear on into 2023 and teased that more news will come when the timing is appropriate.
He said: “Adidas is the sole owner of all design rights registered to existing products. We intend to make use of these rights as early as 2023. We own all the versions and new colorways. It’s our IP. We are working through all the options. When the time is right we will be more specific.”
The news comes just weeks after the ‘Stronger’ rapper – who was previously married to reality TV 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 said: “Neither the magazine nor 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 said: “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.