Why is Kanye West so mad at adidas? It’s a simple question with a multifaceted answer. To start, Ye has been calling out adidas since Summer 2022 over seemingly similar-looking slide sandals and, over the weeks, the attacks have only gotten more personal.
Here we’ll attempt to break down what’s exactly going on between Kanye, adidas, GAP, and YEEZY and what exactly Kanye is posting on Instagram and why.
What is Kanye mad about with adidas?
Here lies the deepest query. Basically, it all began earlier this summer when Kanye called out adidas over its Adilette 22 slide sandals, which he believed to be a direct imitation of the inimitable YEEZY Slides.
Never mind that YEEZY is manufactured by adidas or that Kanye himself doesn’t design the shoes — YEEZY has a whole footwear design team, not even including the adidas team members who oversee fabrication, materials, distribution— but, either way, Ye deleted the accusatory post from his Instagram as swiftly as it was uploaded.
adidas seemingly replied by preemptively defending its adiFom Q sneaker but otherwise kept quiet.
Things progressed naturally until YEEZY DAY in early August 2022. Shortly after, Kanye logged back on, claiming that YEEZY DAY 2022 occurred without his consent and that adidas was dropping a series of sneakers that he didn’t approve.
adidas has not responded to Highsnobiety’s request for comment.
Shortly after, Stella McCartney’s adidas collab unveiled a very familiar-looking pair of foam-y slides but these did not elicit Kanye’s outrage.
A few scattered and deleted posts later, Kanye returned to Instagram in late August and early September to begin making another series of random assertations, accusations, and admissions.
Alongside various assertions about what he viewed as adidas’ unfair practices and some other fan service, he claimed that a physical YEEZY store, presumably called “YZYSPLY,” is soon to be built in Atlanta.
On September 2, things really ramped up on Kanye’s Instagram.
In a series of hastily uploaded and occasionally deleted Instagram posts, Ye began making indirect callouts of adidas executives, specifically making fun of adidas SVP, Daniel Cherry III.
Ye was so pointed in mocking a specific photo of Cherry that one Kanye fan created a particularly unfunny parody page on Instagram.
Kanye then screenshotted some comments from his peanut gallery and a couple all-caps messages, including “I GUARANTEE YOU’LL HAVE TO RELOCATE BEFORE I’M LEGALLY FINISHED WITH YOU,” and “VENTURE CAPITALIST WHO’S [sic] ONLY ADVENTURE IS CAPITALISM” (comrade Kanye?).
He also sneered at former friend Kid Cudi while uploading screengrabs of JP Morgan Chase & adidas’ executive board — some higher-ups at the bank are on the sportswear company’s supervisory board and JP Morgan previously helped adidas find a buyer for Reebok — and even photos of soccer cleats that DONDA SPORTS apparently designed for Ye’s daughter, North West.
Ye also briefly changed his Instagram profile image from his typical black circle into an upside-down image of JP Morgan managing director and vice chairman Jing Ulrich.
He reverted it to the black circle before swapping it for a photo of Alasdhair Willis.
Kanye’s other choice Instagram posts include a screengrab of San Antonio Shoemakers (SAS) in an apparent suggestion that YEEZY would switch footwear production from adidas to SAS; random photos of adidas creative director Alasdhair Willis and “unreleased HBA” pants; tangents about unfollowing people because Instagram only allows users to follow 7,500 accounts (?) and more jabs at Kim Kardashian’s ex, Pete Davidson.
After Kanye complained about Instagram trying to remove his posts (it was likely some randos reporting his posts en masse) and raved about new music (he enjoys Beyoncé’s “Church Girl” and called Wizkid’s “Essence” the “best song in the history of music”), Ye continued uploading images of adidas and JP Morgan execs.
At one point, Kanye even claimed that adidas offered him $1 billion to as a buyout for the YEEZY brand, which has already made Ye a billionaire, reputedly.
As his Instagram outburst continued, Ye uploaded a new version of the Marvel Civil War meme he posted back in February to antagonize Pete Davidson. This time, Ye pits himself against adidas and, again, the hapless Daniel Cherry.
Cherry hasn’t offered a public retort to Kanye
Swizz Beats then inexplicably joined the cavalcade of Kanye sycophants. Swizz was the only celebrity to loudly support Kanye with his own posts, though Kanye’s comment section throughout this whole debacle included footwear design vet Steven Smith, Naomi Campbell, and a cavalcade of blue-checked nobodies.
Finally, after a long day of posting into the void, Ye declared victory over adidas. Or something.
Kanye didn’t really explain what happened or why or what he even got from the lengthy outburst but he deemed it a success and promised that GAP was next.
However, in a text that was screengrabbed and subsequently uploaded to Kanye’s Instagram page, his legal team urged Ye to “refrain from posting anything on GAP for the another 10 days.”
This follows several recent GAP callouts from Kanye over similar issues. At one point, he complained that the multinational conglomerate was “taking meetings” about Ye without including Ye in them. No evidence of that, of course, so who knows.
GAP has not responded to Highsnobiety’s request for comment.
What is Kanye mad about with GAP?
He appears to think that, like adidas, GAP is “imitating” the YEEZY GAP Engineered by Balenciaga aesthetic in its mainline fare.
The most recent sore spot was a black GAP T-shirt that was a different cut, embroidered instead of printed, different fabric, and different color than the YEEZY GAP T-shirt. But who cares about small details when you can instead rally the troops over righteous indignation.
What happened with YEEZY GAP?
There was some recent controversy over YEEZY GAP “trash bags” and perceived appropriation of homeless aesthetics.
Kanye’s response was to go on Fox News and offer a vague deflection, saying that he’s “an innovator, and I’m not here to apologize about my ideas. That’s what the media tries to make us do, make us apologize for any idea that doesn’t fall under what they want us to think.”
Is YEEZY still under adidas?
YEEZY is still produced by adidas and YEEZY GAP is still produced by GAP, even the Balenciaga collaboration.
However, it is worth mentioning that the relatively new YEEZY Instagram account — which has continued to upload images of its strange new campaign even as Kanye rants on his personal account — doesn’t appear to be affiliated with adidas and may be indicative of Ye’s desire to spin YEEZY off into its own thing, perhaps preluding YEEZY HOME.
How does Kim Kardashian feel about Kanye?
Kim Kardashian has remained pretty quiet about all of Kanye’s tantrums even since the original drama back in February but she did reveal a new magazine cover on September 6, mere hours after Kanye was ramping up the indecipherable content.
Kanye hasn’t actually said too much about Kim recently, aside from his bizarre, rambling BET Awards speech.
Note that there is a viral screengrab going around that makes it look like Kanye said something about Kim having diarrhea “more than a normal person” but it’s a hoax.
In fact, Kanye himself responded on Instagram, clarifying that he never posted that and finds it unfunny.
If you’re curious about what Kanye does find funny, he helpfully clarified that he enjoys the comedy of Louis CK, Dave Chappelle, and, of course, himself.