7 December, 2022

Adidas cuts ties with Kanye West

Kanye West’s Yeezy collaboration with Adidas has been one of the most successful in the brand’s history.

But that’s now over, as the clothing giant has dropped the rapper – known as Ye – over anti-Semitic comments.

Cutting the partnership means Adidas will make a net loss of £217m in 2022, with many other brands also ending their relationships with him.

For fans of the fashion and music, and the wider sneaker world, the big question is what comes next?

“I was a fan of him,” James Drury tells BBC Newsbeat. “He is a genius in the fashion industry and in the music industry.”

But the 28-year-old is no longer a fan and says he can’t stand by Ye after anti-Semitic comments.

“It does feel like he’s almost attention seeking to stay relevant,” he says. “And he’s just a little bit too far out there with me now.

“There’s certain things that you just can’t agree with.”

James, from Shropshire, has been collecting Yeezys since 2016, when he first got into the range.

“It was more so the rarity,” he says. “Seeing images of various celebrities wearing them, it instantly pulls you in.”

But when it comes to being a Yeezy collector, he will continue despite Ye’s comments.

“I almost see Yeezy as a brand separately from Kanye West. Obviously, he controls much of it, but for some reason I see Yeezy as separate. So I will continue with it.”

Emily Atkins from The Sole Supplier, a specialist trainer website, labels it “the biggest story in the sneaker world”.

And while cutting the partnership has cost Adidas money, Emily is interested to see the wider impact.

“We’ve been seeing that people have rebelled and boycotted Adidas because of Kanye’s comments,” the shoe expert says. “And I think his influence is on the whole brand.”

As for Ye, he’s lost his position in Forbes magazine’s list of billionaires. It estimates that the loss of the Adidas partnership cuts Ye’s net worth from $1.5bn to $400m (£1.3bn to £349m).

In the world of fashion, Emily feels the rapper no longer has “the positive inputs he had all those years ago”.

“It’ll be interesting to see his next move. And which brands are brave enough to take him under their wing.”

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