Adidas will sell shoes designed by Kanye West despite cutting ties

Adidas will sell shoes designed by Kanye West despite cutting ties

Adidas has said it will continue to sell shoes that were designed in collaboration with Kanye West without the Yeezy brand.

It comes after the sporting brand ended its partnership with the rapper last month following backlash over antisemitic comments made by West.

Adidas bosses reiterated it was the “sole owner” of design rights and upcoming colour ways, and intended to make use of them next year.

US outlets reported that on Wednesday, in a call to discuss quarterly earnings, Adidas’ chief financial officer Harm Ohlmeyer said plans to “leverage the existing inventory” were currently in development.

“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,” he said.

The German company came under huge pressure to end its partnership with West after the latter claimed in a now-deleted interview with the Drink Champs podcast that he could make antisemitic comments and he would still have Adidas’ support.

On 25 October, Adidas said in a statement: “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.”

Aside from Adidas, Balenciaga and Vogue also cut ties with the rapper following his comments.

At the time Adidas said it expected the decision to have a “short-term negative impact of up to 250 million euro on the company’s net income in 2022 given the high seasonality of the fourth quarter”.

On Wednesday, Adidas also announced it had lowered its earnings forecast for the year to account for losses from ending its partnership with the rapper, though Ohlmeyer said the profitability of the enterprise had been “overstated”.

Adidas recently appointed Bjorn Gulden, CEO of rival brand Puma, as its new chief executive from January.

Additional reporting by PA