Kanye West Dropped By Adidas: What's Next For The Yeezy Brand

BYAlexander Cole10.0K Views
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Kanye West has a lot of work to do now that Adidas has kicked Yeezy from its lineup.

Less than two months ago, we examined the relationship between Kanye West and Adidas. At the time of our deep dive, Kanye was engaged in an all-out social media assault against the German company. Every single day, he was going to his Instagram account, yelling into the void and telling us why we needed to support him in his mission to get out of his Adidas deal.

Ye made some very interesting claims about the brand, noting that they were releasing Yeezy silhouettes and colorways without his permission. The legendary artist felt as though he had no more control over the Yeezy name, and that Adidas was ultimately ruining his vision. Ye spoke of oversaturation, breach of intellectual property, and a lack of ownership over his own work. His goal was to take Yeezy back for himself and transform the brand into what he always wanted it to be. Given recent events, however, that goal might be impossible to achieve.

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Thanks to a seemingly endless news cycle of antisemitism, bigotry, and promotion of white supremacy, Kanye was dropped by Adidas. In addition to this, he was dropped by his agency, Jaylen Brown and Aaron Donald left Donda Sports, and his Donda Doves were banned from a tournament.

Ye has left his legacy in shambles. At this point, there are very few people left in his inner circle. Those who do stick by him, simply do so because he's buying their failed social media platforms. Despite all of this, he got what he wanted. His Adidas deal has been terminated.

As the saying goes: be careful what you wish for. Unfortunately for Kanye, losing his Adidas deal means he is no longer a billionaire, and it also means that he will need to rebuild the Yeezy brand from scratch. When Adidas announced it was cutting ties with Ye, they revealed that they owned every single Yeezy design, except for the Adidas Yeezy Foam Runner. This means that Adidas is allowed to sell Yeezy sneakers without the Yeezy branding. As it turns out, that is exactly what they plan to do. More importantly, it also means that Kanye cannot release these designs independently. If he does, he opens himself up to a massive lawsuit, and Adidas has the money to litigate him out of the building.

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Moving forward, if Kanye wants to continue the Yeezy name, he will have to come out with a ton of new designs, which isn't easy. This will be a gradual process, and given the damage he has done to his reputation, he might not even be able to get distribution on these shoes. Without Adidas, he will now have to find his own assembly lines, his own warehouses, his own shipping company, and most importantly, he'll have to regain the trust of his fans.

After making inflammatory comments about George Floyd while also wanting to go "Defcon 3" on Jewish people, it should be noted that people just don't want to buy what Ye's selling. Sure, there are some people who will still support him no matter what, but he's done irreparable damage to himself. It will be infinitely harder for him to sell his shoes moving forward, and without the backing of a major company, Ye could be in trouble. Whether it be through Adidas, Nike, GAP, or Balenciaga, Kanye has always had a huge brand to give him resources. It's likely he will never have those resources again, which puts Kanye in new territory. He doesn't have the credibility he once did, and as a result, Yeezy is in for a long period of hibernation.

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In today's world, social media chews you up and spits you out fast. If your music isn't good, you're discarded. If you don't release tracks fast enough, people forget about you. If your brand stops producing goods, people move on to new brands and new products. This means Kanye has to get Yeezy up and running immediately, and there is simply no infrastructure for him to do so.

Now, this is Kanye we are talking about here so maybe we are completely wrong. It is completely feasible that he has something up his sleeve here. He's proven people wrong before, and he could most certainly do it again. It's just that this time seems different. From the white supremacist t-shirts to the Fox News appearances to the antisemitism, it feels like Kanye really has "done it this time."

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If you're a sneakerhead and you still want your Yeezy fix, you'll be happy to know that Adidas is going to continue releasing the classics. From the Adidas Yeezy 750 to the Adidas Yeezy 700 "Wave Runner," Ye and Adidas gave us some truly amazing sneakers. Despite all that's happened, it's nice to see that these designs won't just die out.

As for Ye, the path to redemption will be a long and arduous one. While he has delivered some forced apologies here and there, he is showing no signs of toning down his rhetoric. Until he does, there is very little hope for a Yeezy resurgence.

About The Author
Alexander Cole is the current Managing Editor of HotNewHipHop. He started at HotNewHipHop back in 2018 where he began as a Sports and Sneakers writer. During this time, he has shown an expertise in Air Jordans, Yeezys, and all things that have to do with Nike. His favorite kicks are the Air Jordan 1 High OG, the Air Jordan 4, the Air Jordan 6, and the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 in the "Beluga 2.0" colorway. Although his collection might not be the biggest, he is always looking to add new styles to it. When it comes to sports, Alex has a particular interest in the NBA and the NFL. His favorite teams are anywhere LeBron goes, and the Kansas City Chiefs. As a Montrealer, the Montreal Canadiens hold a special place in his heart, even if they haven't won the Stanley Cup in his lifetime. Alex also works for the Concordia Stingers, where he provides play-by-play and color commentary for the football, hockey, and basketball teams His favorite hip-hop artists are Kendrick Lamar, Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, and Lil Uzi Vert.