Adidas Cuts Ties With Kanye West, Terminates Yeezy Deal Immediately

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Adidas is cutting ties with Kanye “Ye” West, the founder of the Yeezy brand, ending one of the most successful and storied shoe partnerships and capping off a tumultuous few weeks.

After West made repeated antisemitic comments in recent weeks after wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt at Paris Fashion Week, the German brand said in a statement to FN that it would no longer work with Ye.

”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,” the statement said.

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It continued: “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.“

Adidas said the move was 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 confirmed it is the sole owner of all design rights to existing products as well as previous and new colorways under the partnership.

The company will provide more information in its upcoming 3Q earnings.

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As Ye doubled down on anti-semitic rhetoric on social media and in interviews, Adidas had faced mounting pressure in recent days to cut ties with the rapper-turned-designer.

Adidas previously put the Yeezy partnership under review on Oct. 6 after Ye repeatedly called out the brand for allegedly copying his designs, as well as not giving him enough control over his products and not opening up Yeezy stores, among other grievances. The review came shortly after West’s controversial Yeezy SZN 9 fashion show, in which he was spotted wearing a black long-sleeved T-shirt with the words “White Lives Matter” emblazoned on the back.

Balenciaga on Friday said it was ending its relationship with Ye.

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Before splitting from Yeezy, Adidas last week cut its outlook for 2022. The lowered outlook accounts for a drop in Greater China traffic, an inventory build-up from softer demand in Western markets, more promotional activity and a series of one-off costs that will impact the company in the back half of the year.

While Adidas does not break out Yeezy sales numbers, Morningstar analyst David Swartz estimates the brand brings in close to $2 billion a year. Swartz projects overall Adidas revenues to hit $23 billion this year, which would make Yeezy sales represent nearly 10% of the total.

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