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Adidas Says Kanye West’s Yeezy Partnership Is ‘Under Review’ Amid Rapper’s Recent Controversy

Adidas Says Partnership With Kanye West's Yeezy Is 'Under Review
Jason Szenes/EPA/Shutterstock

A turn of events. Adidas has announced a change in its relationship with Kanye West.

Related: Kanye West’s Most Outrageous Moments: From Interrupting Taylor Swift to His Twitter Rants

The sportswear brand released a statement on Thursday, October 6, revealing that its partnership with the Chicago native, 45, is “under review,” per CNBC and Complex. “Adidas has always been about creativity, innovation and supporting athletes and artists to achieve their vision,” the memo read. “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.”

Adidas added: “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 was quick to react to the news, sharing a screenshot of the statement via Instagram on Thursday. “F–K ADIDAS I AM ADIDAS RAPED AND STOLE MY DESIGNS,” the “Stronger” crooner alleged in the caption of the social media post.

In June, the Grammy winner accused Adidas of copying his Yeezy designs on a pair of slides. He has since deleted the post.

West partnered with Adidas in 2013 to create and sell items from his Yeezy clothing line. Together, the labels introduced the popular Yeezy Boost 350 sneaker (2015) as well as the buzzy Adidas Yeezy Slide (2019) and the Adidas Yeezy Foam Runner (2020).

Related: Kanye West’s Attack on ‘Vogue’ Editor and ‘White Lives Matter’ T-Shirt: Hailey Bieber and More React

Adidas decision to put its work with Yeezy on pause comes amid recent controversy surrounding the hip-hop star. West caught heat on Tuesday, October 4, for publicly shaming Vogue editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson after she shared her opinion on his Yeezy season 9 show at Paris Fashion Week, during which he wore a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt. The slogan was also seen on models that walked down the runway.

In response, Karefa-Johnson expressed disappointment via her Instagram Story, calling West’s presentation “irresponsible.” West reacted by sharing multiple posts about the journalist, slamming her fashion choices and questioning her credibility. “This is not a fashion person You speak on Ye Ima speak on you Ask Trevor Noah,” West wrote alongside screenshots of Karefa-Johnson, while referring to his past feud with the comedian, 38. In another post, West wrote: “I KNOOOOOW ANNA HAAAATES THESE BOOTS,” alongside a photo of Karefa-Johnson, referring to Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

Hours later, Vogue issued a statement in support of Karefa-Johnson.

Vogue stands with Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, our global fashion editor at large and longtime contributor. She was personally targeted and bullied. It is unacceptable,” read the statement from the publication, which was shared on Instagram and Twitter. “Now more than ever, voices like hers are needed and in a private meeting with Ye today she once again spoke her truth in a way she felt best, on her terms.”

The “All Mine” rapper revealed in his own Instagram post that he apologized to Karefa-Johnson.

“Gab is my sister,” he captioned a different image of the reporter. “I’m not letting people go to bed thinking I didn’t meet with Gabriella at 5 p.m. today for 2 hours then went to dinner at Ferdie … We apologized to each other for the way we made each other feel. We actually got along and have both experienced the fight for acceptance in a world that’s not our own. She disagreed. I disagreed. We disagreed. At least we both love Ferdie and fashion.”

Related: Everyone Kanye West Has Had Beef With Over the Years: Drake, Peppa Pig and More

The artist also made headlines in September when he ended his partnership with Gap, alleging that the retailer didn’t abide by their agreement with the “Stronger” rapper, his attorney, Nicholas Gravante, revealed in a letter obtained by CNN and CNBC.

Gravante claimed Gap was supposed to distribute Yeezy products in its stores and open designated Yeezy Gap flagships but failed to do so. According to The Wall Street Journal, Gap was required to sell 40 percent of Yeezy Gap products.

West’s attorney shared, per the WSJ, that the Grammy winner’s clothing label allegedly “notified Gap of its concerns in August and gave the company a contractually-designated 30 days to cure its breaches.” Gap did not respond, West claimed. “Gap’s substantial noncompliance with its contractual obligations has been costly … Ye will now promptly move forward to make up for lost time by opening Yeezy retail stores,” Gravante added.

Yeezy and Gap’s partnership was unveiled in 2020.

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