German sportswear maker Adidas announced on Friday that it wanted to “reassess” its partnership with American rapper Kanye West, now renamed Ye, who recently criticized the three-stripe brand for disagreeing with its commercial initiatives.
The group, which does not specify the reasons for its decision, indicates in a press release that “a successful partnership is based on mutual respect and shared values”. < /p>
But “after repeated attempts to clarify the situation outside the public, we have decided to reassess this partnership” with Kanye West, adds Adidas in this press release sent to AFP.
Relations between the American artist and the sports equipment manufacturer have turned sour in recent months.
At issue: the collaboration around the collection of Yeezy sneakers designed by the rapper and developed with the German equipment manufacturer since 2014, until experiencing phenomenal success that made Kanye West a billionaire.
However, the specialized press has relayed numerous messages from Kanye West on social networks criticizing, on his Instagram account, the fact that Adidas is launching a “Yeezy Day” without his approval, while multiplying the harsh comments against the brand.
Accustomed to controversy, Kanye West also sparked controversy a few days ago, during Fashion Week in Paris. On the occasion of the parade of his brand Yeezy, he wore a t-shirt on which one could read “White Lives Matter”, a slogan echoing the formula “Black Lives Matter” from the United States and embodying the fight against anti-black racism.
Adidas, however, did not mention this recent episode in its press release.
According to trade press, Kanye West also blames Adidas for reissuing older Yeezy collections, as well as designing Yeezy colorways and poaching employees, including Yeezy's CEO, without his approval.
< p>Along with Beyoncé, Stella McCartney and Pharrell Williams, Kanye West is one of the celebrities with whom Adidas has partnered to delight its clientele in the lifestyle segment and more generally boost its sales, particularly online.
The Yeezy sneaker line was born in 2008, first in association with Nike before being linked to Adidas a few years later.
“The Adidas Yeezy partnership is one of of the most successful collaborations in the history of our industry. We are proud of our team who have worked tirelessly throughout our collaboration with Ye and the iconic products that have been born out of it,” Adidas said in its press release.
In mid-September, Kanye West announced unilaterally terminate its partnership with the ready-to-wear brand Gap, judging that the conditions of the collaboration have not been respected.