Ever since adidas confirmed that it was cutting ties with Kanye West over his unrepentant anti-Semitism, the question has plagued sneakerheads: what’s gonna happen to the adidas YEEZY sneakers? Finally, adidas clarified things: it’s still gonna sell YEEZY shoes, just without Ye’s name or company attached.
adidas confirmed its loose concept for the future of its YEEZY sneaker designs during an earnings call on November 9.
The main thrust of the event was to adjust the sportswear giant’s expected 2022 revenue as a result of a $500 million hit from the termination of the YEEZY business and ongoing pains from one of adidas’ biggest markets, China, which is still grappling with the “Zero Covid” policy.
But, amidst the financial updates, adidas also revealed some key tidbits about the future of YEEZY. Or, rather, the YEEZY shoes that adidas produced.
adidas claimed to have “interesting plans” for the YEEZY designs, clarifying that it owns the intellectual property and rights for certain YEEZY creations that have yet to be released, presumably because the shoes were envisioned by adidas’ legendary VP of global design, Nic Galway, rather than anyone on the YEEZY team
These YEEZY goods are “our product,” Harm Ohlmeyer, adidas’ CFO, said when announcing the earnings update. “We intend to make use of these rights as early as in 2023.”
Just a day prior, adidas announced a shift in management, with CEO Kasper Rørsted to be replaced with former PUMA CEO Bjørn Gulden on January 1, 2023.
adidas officially cut ties with Ye and YEEZY on October 25 following weeks of protracted tension over contract disputes and social media tirades, including allegations that adidas was borrowing YEEZY concepts for in-house designs.
Following Ye’s explosive YZY SZN 9 fashion show and subsequent anti-Semitism, including a promise to go “DEATH CON 3” on Jews.
Previous business partners like GAP and Balenciaga beat adidas to the punch, dropping Ye earlier in October, though GAP only removed YEEZY product from stores after adidas ended its relationship with YEEZY.
Before adidas made it official, Ye boasted on a podcast that he was too valuable to adidas for the German sportswear company to ever considering dropping YEEZY.
Nine days later, adidas did just that.