In 2016, Kanye West's apparel brand Yeezy partnered with Adidas AG - ADR ADDYY for Adidas + Kanye West to manufacture footwear, apparel and accessories.
This took place after West left Nike Inc NKE in 2013 because Adidas was willing to give West more control over his brand apparel and footwear.
In June 2020, West partnered with Gap Inc GPS to deliver his brand's products at an accessible price for millions of shoppers.
What Happened: In a string of Instagram posts that are now deleted, West aired his issues with Adidas and Gap about copying his designs without permission and deliberately excluding him from meetings.
According to HypeBeast, West wrote: “I really care about building something that changes the world and something I can leave to my kids. They tried to buy me out for $1 billion. My royalties next year are $500 million alone.”
In 2021, The Business of Fashion reported sales from the Yeezy licensing deal accounted for 7% of Adidas' annual revenue, totaling $1.7 billion.
Among the executives West took aim at, Senior Vice President of Adidas Daniel Cherry III seemed to be the primary target as West captioned in a deleted Instagram post: “Hi my name is DC I was hired by the recently deceased Kasper without YE's knowledge to run the most culturally influential brand in the world,” as reported by Newsweek.
After these posts, celebrities took to Instagram to support West’s allegations against Adidas.
On Sept. 6, famed rapper and friend Diddy posted on Instagram a screenshot of West and his conversation showing support, with a caption that stated: “I’m done wearing Adidas products until they make it right!!”
Not only did West take aim at Adidas, but he also took to Instagram to beef with Gap on Aug. 31 by posting a screenshot of text messages in which he accused Gap of stealing one of his designs: “This is GAP copying YGEBB,” West wrote, adding “But they canceled the photo shoot with my kids in Japan without me knowing.”
According to CNBC, the Yeezy brand product line could bring in roughly $1 billion in sales in 2021, as 64% of customers planned to purchase items from the collaboration.
The Last Word: In March 2021, a UBS Group AG UBS valuation estimated Yeezy adds $3 to $4 billion to West's net worth bottom line, with an estimated net worth of $6.6 billion.
West also mentioned the possibility of starting his own shoe company, as he said in a deleted Instagram post, as shared by MySanAntonio: "What shoe company will give me control? I need to be head of the board and chief decision maker."
Adidas and Gap are yet to comment to Benzinga on the recent allegations West has made against them.
Photo: DKSStyle via Shutterstock
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