German sports group adidas said on Thursday it was evaluating a partnership with famous American rapper Ye.
Adidas said: “After several attempts to resolve the current issues, we have decided to evaluate the partnership. During the evaluation period, we will continue to jointly manage the current cooperative business.”
adidas said: “We have always placed great emphasis on innovation, creation and supporting artists and athletes to help them realize their vision. The collaboration with Ye is one of the most successful in the group’s history. We also understand that, All successful collaborations are based on mutual respect and shared values.”
Ye’s partnership with adidas began as early as 2013, and both parties’ contracts are set to expire in 2026. The combined sneaker and ready-to-wear business that Ye is partnering with adidas and Gap is worth between $3.2 billion and $4.7 billion, according to Bloomberg data.
Just earlier this week, Ye gave a six-minute speech on the catwalk of his personal brand Yeezy, saying “starting tonight, we will build our own brand” and said Bernard, chief executive of the LVMH group. Arnault “will be his new Drake.”
In early September, Ye posted a number of posts on his official Instagram, “shelling” Adidas, and even threatening to “destroy” Adidas management according to law.
In mid-September, Ye sent a letter to Gap through a lawyer saying it would suspend its partnership with the latter, citing Gap’s failure to fulfill the terms of the contract. The letter stated that Gap did not sell Ye’s personal brand Yeezy branded merchandise in its physical stores, nor did it open a dedicated store for the Yeezy brand, thus violating the agreement between the two parties in the contract. Gap can continue to sell Yeezy’s merchandise until its existing stock is emptied.
Ye also complained that Adidas often made Yeezy-related strategic decisions without consulting him, and recently said that Adidas “copied” his design for a new series. He said: “No one should be able to pay someone to shut up after plagiarism. It destroys innovation, it destroys creativity. Nikola Tesla is a victim of this behavior. By.”
At the time, Ye revealed that he was working with Eric Liedtke, a former Adidas executive, to develop new projects without the backing of any major companies. In addition, he will continue to operate Yeezy’s e-commerce store, Yeezy Supply, as the brand’s main new product sales point.