Keeping Up With Kanye adidas Yeezy GAP
Keeping Up With Kanye adidas Yeezy GAP
Keeping Up With Kanye adidas Yeezy GAP

Keeping Up With Kanye

Since its inception, Yeezy’s growth has hit stratospheric heights as one of the most innovative and dominant brands of the modern sneakersphere. According to Business of Fashion, in 2021, Yeezy adidas sneakers raked in nearly $1.7 billion in sales. In 2022, Yeezy’s value has been estimated at $3.2–$4.7 billion, and it’s projected to draw $1 billion in annual sales with GAP within the next 2–8 years.

Keeping up with Kanye is no mean feat, and between all his ventures – be it Yeezy, GAP or his music – the multi-hyphenate keeps things pretty fast-paced. These days, Kanye isn’t only influencing through music and fashion; he’s spoken out about the intellectual property and decision-making of several of his longtime and more recent collaborators.

There’s a lot at stake, so keep it locked here for updates as developments unfold.

Kanye Says the Adilette 22 Slide is a ‘Fake Yeezy’

Kanye Says the Adilette 22 Slide is a ‘Fake Yeezy’

June 14, 2022: adidas revealed the Adilette 22 slide. With many citing the slide as a very Yeezy-esque design, it wasn’t long until Kanye caught wind of the Adilette, taking to Instagram to call out adidas and, specifically, their CEO, Kasper Rørsted. West said, ‘I’m not standing for this blatant copying no more,’ also declaring that the Adilette 22 is a Yeezy slide ripoff, ‘this shoe is a fake Yeezy made by adidas themselves.’

Kanye West adiFOM Q

adidas Deflects adiFOM Q Copycat Comments

June 29, 2022: adidas revealed the adiFOM Q. Causing a stir once again, many onlookers commented on its resemblance to the build of the Yeezy Foam Runner. Then, adidas took to Twitter to state the design was inspired by 2001’s long-forgotten adidas Quake.

Yeezy Day 2022

Yeezy Day 2022

August 3, 2022: Kanye West first introduced Yeezy Day in 2019 as a day intended to celebrate and flex the many models in existence. But this year, the festivities were more bitter than sweet, as West claimed that he didn’t actually approve Yeezy Day 2022. What’s more, he says he didn’t give the green light for the retro of silhouettes like the ‘Turtle Dove’ either, and that adi hired their new adi GM (who oversees Yeezy) without his knowledge.

adidas CEO Kasper Rørsted Surprise Exit
via adidas/youtube

adidas CEO Kasper Rørsted’s Surprise Exit

August 23, 2022: In August, adidas announced that chief executive officer, Kasper Rørsted, would be making a surprise departure from the company, effective in 2023. Rørsted had been at the helm since 2016 and was supposed to carry out the role until July 31, 2026.

Kanye Opens the Yeezy GAP Floodgates

September 1, 2022: Ever since Kanye took to Instagram to call out GAP for copying his Yeezy GAP Engineered by Balenciaga t-shirts, he’s opened the floodgates to other qualms with GAP. In addition to drawing parallels between the in-line tees and the Yeezy ones, Ye has also claimed to be left out of GAP comms, writing on Instagram: ‘Gap having meetings about me without me.’

Kanye West adidas General Manager Daniel Cherry III
via kanye (IG)

Kanye Turns to adidas GM/SVP Daniel Cherry III

September 3, 2022: adidas general manager Daniel Cherry III recently became the centre of Kanye’s attention. While Kanye has not explicitly stated his beef with Cherry, surrounding discourse suggests that he believes the adi senior is behind much of the Yeezy decision-making that Kanye himself has not approved. Cherry reportedly joined the Three Stripes in January this year.

Kanye Says He Was Offered $1 Billion Buyout From Yeezy
via kanye (IG)

Kanye Says He Was Offered $1 Billion Buyout From Yeezy

September 5, 2022: Continuing to speak out about adidas, in now-deleted Instagram posts, West claimed that he was offered $1 billion as a buyout from Yeezy. ‘I have no chill. It’s going to cost you billions to keep me. It’s going to cost you billions to let me go, Adidas,’ he wrote. Of course, Ye isn’t interested in a $1 billion buyout, as he made clear: ‘My royalties next year are 500 million dollars alone.’,

Kanye West adiFOM Q Swizz Beatz
via @therealswizzz

Artists Side With Kanye

September 6, 2022: Kanye’s fellow artists are standing in solidarity with the rapper, taking to Instagram to show their support while boycotting adidas. Posting up images of a crossed-out adiFOM Q, Swizz Beatz wrote an accompanying caption that asks adidas to ‘do the correct thing.’

Diddy has also taken a stance with West, saying, ‘Since the era of Run-DMC, @Adidas has always used Hip Hop to build its brand and make billions off of our culture.’ He continued, ‘I’m done wearing Adidas products until they make this right.’

A movement is afoot!

kanye west bloomberg interview

Kanye is Going to Fly Solo

September 13, 2022: In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg, Kanye has declared his plans to cut ties with corporate partners adidas and GAP. ‘It’s time for me to go it alone,’ Ye said. ‘It’s fine. I made the companies money. The companies made me money. We created ideas that will change apparel forever. Like the round jacket, the foam runner, the slides that have changed the shoe industry. Now it’s time for Ye to make the new industry. No more companies standing in between me and the audience.’

How the new arrangements will work is yet to be seen, as Bloomberg reports that West is currently under a long-term arrangement with adidas who will be producing the Yeezy Boost 350 until 2026. His apparel agreement with GAP is also due to last until 2030. 'They my new baby mamas,' Ye added. 'I guess we’re just going to have to co-parent those 350s.'

West will still be running Yeezy Supply, the webstore dedicated to Yeezy product drops.

adidas and GAP reps have declined to issue a comment.

Kanye and Gap Terminate Partnership

Yeezy GAP is Over

September 16, 2022: One of the most monumental streetwear partnerships of the 2020s era has prematurely come to an end.

As reported by The New York Times, Ye’s lawyers had actually sent a breach-of-contract notice to GAP on August 16, to which GAP reportedly responded with a letter on August 23. Evidently, no progress was made on this front, with Ye’s lawyer Nicholas Gravante Jr. saying, ‘Gap left him no choice but to terminate their agreement.’

As such, Ye’s legal team has sent GAP a notice of termination, spelling out that the company has failed to meet a number of its contractual obligations, including failing to release certain items and failing to open stores, which they had agreed to do in 2021.

GAP have yet to issue a formal response. However, as per The Times, the brand has communicated the end of the agreement to its employees, with an announcement written by GAP brand president Mark Breitbard. ‘While we share a vision of bringing high-quality, trend-forward, utilitarian design to all people through unique omni experiences with Yeezy Gap, how we work together to deliver this vision is not aligned. And we are deciding to wind down the partnership.’

The Yeezy GAP partnership deal was inked in 2020 and was intended for a ten-year run.

Kanye Opens up on Working With GAP

September 16, 2022: In an exclusive interview with CNBC, Ye has shared details on how working with GAP was ‘frustrating and disheartening’ and how sometimes it felt like he was on ‘mute’.

He opens up by saying, ‘It was always a dream of mine to be at the GAP and to bring the best product possible to the masses. I always talked to them about doing products for $20, designed at the same level of the top fashion houses in. the world, at $20 for the people.’

With that not coming to fruition due to ‘struggles and back and forth’, he reveals issues he had with price point decision-making, an interesting slice of information to know, given the widespread backlash he received for the excessive price points of the collaboration.

‘We designed an entire collection, and actually, I wasn’t able to set the actual price that I wanted for this collection. And then they actually took one of the shirts and sold it for $19. They priced my stuff at $200 and above their whole price point normally and then did the exact same shirt for $20,’ Ye said.

‘And also they did pop-ups, and I signed on with them because, in the contract, they said they were gonna do stores. And they just ignored us about building stores constantly... sometimes I would talk to the guys, the leaders, and it would be like I was on mute or something. Our agenda wasn’t aligned.’

Kanye West Yeezy Summary of Restrictions
via @kanyewest

Kanye Shares a Summary of Restrictions Document

September 19, 2022: After it was announced that Ye would be parting ways with GAP, the rapper has now taken to Instagram to share the latest legal development. It appears that West has been issued a summary of restrictions document, encompassing restrictions on Yeezy standalone activities in footwear, apparel and accessories. The restrictions relate to specific contracts, including a licensing and endorsement agreement with adidas and a strategic agreement with GAP.

As per the document, Kanye and Yeezy will not be able to ‘use, wear, sponsor, promote, market, advertise, endorse, design, manufacture, license, sell or provide consulting services with respect to any of the following products under the Yeezy Trademarks or Ye's likeness...’ Below that is an extensive list of the three areas, with specific mention that ‘footwear which uses designs that copy or resemble any designs used for Yeezy by adidas products’, as well as ‘apparel which uses designs that copy or resemble any designs used for Yeezy by adidas or Yeezy Gap products’ are all deemed to be restricted.

Kanye Makes a Proposal to adi
via @kanyewest

Kanye Makes a Proposal to adi

September 23, 2022: Ye has taken to Instagram to share screenshots of negotiations he’s interested in making with adidas. Via his Instagram Stories, West said, ‘adidas, I’m willing to give you 20% of sales. Not ownership. As a non exclusive manufacturing and distribution partner.’ There are yet to be further updates to Kanye’s proposal, including a response from adidas. At this stage, it’s also unclear what legal movements are underway.

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