Adidas is (finally) breaking up with rapper Kanye West. The rapper has caused one major controversy too many with his anti-Semitic statements, but the stakes were high for the sports brand.
End of the affair
The long-standing – and lucrative – partnership between (Kan)Ye and Adidas is coming to an end. They have had the Yeezy line of highly sought-after sneakers and other items for seven years, but now the rapper finally went too far. The collaboration will be terminated with immediate effect and the Yeezy division dissolved. Production will also stop at once.
Ye had already been thrown off social platforms such as Instagram and Twitter in recent weeks after making explicit anti-Semitic statements. Fashion brands Balenciaga and Gap had already pulled the plug on their collaborations with the self-proclaimed “Greatest artist ever”. Adidas did take Ye “under review” this month after the rapper had appeared at Paris Fashion Week in a hoodie with the provocative label ‘White Lives Matter’, but hesitated for a long time to break up with its golden boy.
The Yeezy collection is said to account for almost a tenth of all revenues at Adidas, or nearly 250 million dollars in annual sales. Given that Adidas is currently underperforming and already had to issue three profit warnings in a row, the decision was difficult. However, Adidas was now forced to take a clear stance after all.