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Adidas Places Yeezy Partnership with Kanye West Under Review

The rapper, producer, and apparel mogul has spent the better half of the year criticizing Adidas for creative decisions made without his authorization.

Adidas is officially reviewing its longterm relationship with Kanye West.

The apparel brand issued a statement on Thursday regarding the ongoing Yeezy collab that’s been a resounding success for both them and the controversial rapper.

The statement in full reads:

“Adidas has always been about creativity, innovation and supporting athletes and artists to achieve their vision. The Adidas Yeezy partnership is one of the most successful collaborations in our industry’s history. We are proud of our team that has worked tirelessly throughout our collaboration with Ye and the iconic products that were born from it. We also recognize that all successful partnerships are rooted in mutual respect and shared values. After repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation, we have taken the decision to place the partnership under review. We will continue to co-manage the current product during this period.”

The decision comes expected as West — who legally changed his name to Ye — has been outspoken about The Three Stripes and its handling of the Yeezy collab in recent months. Still, it didn’t prevent the Grammy winner from firing off an immediate response in a since-deleted Instagram post.

A union ongoing since 2016, Adidas and Ye’s relationship showed early signs of disarray when the Chicago native blasted the company in June for selling a “blatant copy” of the new Adilette 22 Slides. In August, Ye chastised Adidas even more when he accused them of holding Yeezy Day without his approval. In September, Ye took direct aim at Kasper Rørsted, deeming the outgoing Adidas CEO “dead” in a now-deleted Instagram post.

While those actions are all individually shocking, perhaps the breaking point was his latest stunt at Paris Fashion Week. While presenting looks from his Yeezy SZN 9 fashion show on Monday, Ye emerged wearing a black long-sleeved tee with “White Lives Matter” written on the back. Despite quick and widespread backlash, the father of four doubled down on Instagram, even going so far as calling the Black Lives Matter movement a “scam.”

This marks the second possible divorce between Ye and a major brand. In September, the 45-year-old announced plans to sever ties with Gap two years into a 10-year partnership, effectively ending his Yeezy Gap merch line with the retailer.

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About The Author
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. She began her career in sports journalism with bylines at SB Nation, USA Today and, most recently, Yahoo. She received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Truman State University and when she's not watching old clips of Serena Williams' best matches, she is likely perfecting her signature chocolate chip cookie recipe or preparing a traditional Cameroonian meal.