Browse all

Kanye West and adidas are in a "complicated relationship"

Maybe they should break up?

Kanye West and adidas are in a complicated relationship Maybe they should break up?

That the relationship between Kanye West and adidas was not the best we have known for some time, but what we saw yesterday may have sanctioned the end-at least unofficially-of the relationship between the rapper and the German brand. On Yeezy Day, the day made up of restocks and launches of the brand's old silhouettes, West responded to a fan's message, which is peculiar but objectively typical of Ye, with a lengthy rant aimed at adidas in which the rapper accused the German brand of not only creating the Yeezy Day without his consent but of marketing colorways, with related names, without consulting West, hiring former Yeezy creatives behind Kanye's back. The message goes on with more details, but the first few lines are enough to understand the state of the relationship between the two parties, which had already degenerated a few weeks ago when Kanye accused the brand of stealing the design of his Slides, and which today, in light of this latest episode seems to be really in the credits. But beyond the distance between the parties, the hypothetical end of the relationship between Kanye West and adidas, who have a contract until 2026 anyway, would first of all mark the real end of streetwear in its original form, but above all the end of the last real "free" collaboration between a designer and a sportswear brand.

Since the untimely death of Virgil Abloh, who with Nike had marked an era with The Ten, Kanye West had probably remained the only name working directly on the development of the silhouettes seen over the years with Yeezy. Collaborations such as the one between Nike and Travis Scott, to name one, not only represent one of those one-sided relationships in which the artist seems to put only his or her name on the project, but one of the last vestiges of a world now gone. But what broke in the relationship between West and adidas? Hard to say, the exit from the scene of Jon Wexler, former GM of adidas Yeezy who moved to Shopify in September 2020, may have been influential at the end of a relationship in which Kanye found himself in the same situation seen with Nike, hounded by the constraints and obligations of a brand whose first interest was to monetize. Regardless of what will be the future of the relationship between West and adidas, it is difficult to continue to identify Yeezy with the Chicago rapper, a relationship that until a few years ago seemed symbiotic and, above all, capable of animating a community that today, following West's word, is probably beginning to look at the Yeezys in their shoeboxes with a different eye.