It’s over. Adidas has announced its decision to part ways with Kanye West in the wake of the rapper’s anti-Semitic remarks and other offensive comments.
“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday, October 25. “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.”
The statement continued: “After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.”
The athletic brand noted that more information about the decision will be made available during the company’s Q3 earnings announcement on November 9.
The severed relationship comes after Adidas revealed on October 6 that its partnership with the Chicago native, 45, was “under review,” per CNBC and Complex. “Adidas has always been about creativity, innovation and supporting athletes and artists to achieve their vision,” the memo read. “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.”
Adidas added: “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.”
West publicly shared his reaction to the brand’s initial decision, sharing a screenshot of the statement via Instagram. “F–K ADIDAS I AM ADIDAS RAPED AND STOLE MY DESIGNS,” the “Stronger” crooner alleged at the time.
The “All Mine” rapper hinted at tension between himself and the company in June when he accused Adidas of copying his Yeezy designs on a pair of slides. He has since deleted the post.
West partnered with Adidas in 2013 to create and sell items from his Yeezy clothing line. Together, the labels introduced the popular Yeezy Boost 350 sneaker (2015) as well as the buzzy Adidas Yeezy Slide (2019) and the Adidas Yeezy Foam Runner (2020).
In addition to apparent private issues with the artist, Adidas faced pressure from consumers to take a stand against West amid his recent controversy.
During Paris Fashion Week, the “Gorgeous” artist wore a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt as he unveiled his Yeezy season 9 collection.
Despite backlash, West defended the message during an October 6 appearance on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight. “People, they’re looking for an explanation and [they] say, ‘Well, as an artist you don’t have to give an explanation,’ but as a leader, you do. So the answer to why I wrote ‘White Lives Matter’ on a shirt is because they do. It’s the obvious thing,” he argued.
West later doubled down on his stance and shared a string of anti-Semitic messages. “This ain’t a game. Ima use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me. I told you this was war,” the Grammy winner told Diddy in a since-deleted Instagram post earlier this month.
The musician made headlines yet again on October 17 after speaking on the death of George Floyd during an episode of Drink Champs. He alleged that Floyd, who was killed after being pinned to the ground under the knee of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, died of a fentanyl overdose and pre-existing conditions. Floyd’s family has since announced plans to sue the hip-hop producer.
West later apologized for his behavior during a Wednesday, October 19, appearance on Piers Morgan Uncensored — but said he “absolutely” doesn’t regret his anti-semitic comments. “I feel like I caused hurt and confusion,” he noted. “And I’m sorry for the families of the people that had nothing to do with the trauma that I had been through, and that I used my platform where you say hurt people hurt people. I was hurt.”
Adidas isn’t the only brand to cut ties with West. Both Balenciaga and Vogue have spoken out amid the backlash.
“Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist,” Kering — the parent company of the fashion brand — told Women’s Wear Daily in a Friday, October 21, statement. The “Heartless” rapper had long worked with the French fashion house, most recently opening their summer 2023 show during Paris Fashion Week earlier this year. Balenciaga’s creative director, Demna, also collaborated with West on his Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga line.
Also on Friday, a spokesperson for Vogue told Page Six: “Neither the outlet nor editor-in-chief Anna Wintour have future intentions to work with West again.”
Through the years, West had a close friendship with Wintour, 72, attended several Met Galas and appeared on the cover of the publication in 2014 alongside then-wife Kim Kardashian. The two split in February 2021 when Kardashian, 42, filed for divorce. (The former couple share daughters North, 9, and Chicago, 4, and sons Saint, 6, and Psalm, 3.
The Skims founder addressed her ex’s comments in a social media statement on Monday, October 24. “Hate speech is never OK or excusable,” she tweeted. “I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end.”