Following extremely vocal public criticism of its CEO Kasper Rørsted by Kanye West, Adidas has placed its relationship with the rapper “under review,” according to CNBC. The partnership launched in 2016 with Adidas manufacturing clothing through a collaboration with the rapper’s Yeezy brand. West has accused Adidas of not allowing him to have more control over the project and of copying his ideas.
“Adidas has always been about creativity, innovation and supporting athletes and artists to achieve their vision,” the company said in a statement. “The adidas Yeezy partnership is one of the most successful collaborations in our industry’s history. We are proud of our team that has worked tirelessly throughout our collaboration with Ye and the iconic products that were born from it. We also recognize that all successful partnerships are rooted in mutual respect and shared values. After repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation, we have taken the decision to place the partnership under review. We will continue to co-manage the current product during this period.
West responded with an Instagram post that has since been deleted, in which he stated, “F——– ADIDAS I AM ADIDAS.”
In addition to his negative comments directed toward Rørsted, West recently sparked controversy by wearing a T-shirt printed with the message “White Lives Matter” during Paris Fashion Week. The phrase has been identified by the Antidefamation League as a racist response to the Black Lives Matter movement by white supremacists.
West’s partnerships with other retailers have been rocky in recent months, including the termination of his relationship with Gap in September 2022. The news that the Gap partnership, which began in 2020, was ending followed a July takeover of Gap’s Times Square flagship that showcased a new collection from Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga.
The Adidas and Gap partnerships that West established through his Yeezy sneaker and apparel business were valued between $3.2 billion to $4.7 billion by UBS Group AG in 2021, according to Bloomberg.