Adidas plans to sell more Yeezy designs in the new year, though rapper Kanye West, who created the popular shoes, will not be involved.
The German-based company cut ties with West, who legally changed his name to Ye, in October. Ye was dropped following intense public pressure for Adidas to end its partnership with the musician over his recent antisemitic outbursts.
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During a call about quarterly earnings on Wednesday, Adidas’ chief financial officer Harm Ohlmeyer said the company is likely to continue selling Yeezy designs under a different product name.
“I can confirm that Adidas is the sole owner of all design rights related to existing product, as well as previous and new colorways under the partnership,” he said. “We intend to make use of these rights as early as 2023.”
Business Insider reported the Yeezy Slide could be an exception to this, as the musician owns the patent for that design.
Ye has not spoken publicly about Adidas’ claims they will continue to sell Yeezy designs.
Ohlmeyer said the company will “leverage the existing inventory,” though plans for the product and new branding are still in the works.
On Oct. 25, Adidas ended their partnership with Ye, and released a statement claiming that the company does “not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech.”
At the time, Adidas claimed they would immediately stop production of all Yeezy branded products and halt any payments to Ye.
Last month, the brand predicted the severance from Ye would cause a short-term negative impact of up to 250 million euros (about C$339 million) on the company’s fourth-quarter income.
On Wednesday, Ohlmeyer claimed Adidas could save more than €300 million ($411 million) in royalty payments and marketing fees if they continue to push the product in stores and online.
“This will help us to compensate the vast majority of the top and the bottom-line impact in 2023,” Ohlmeyer said.
Ye’s initial partnership with Adidas began in 2013. The nine-year arrangement was financially fruitful but not without difficulties.
Ye, on more than one occasion, has publicly voiced his upset with Adidas on social media. In September, the rapper accused the company’s top executives of stealing his ideas and leaving him out of important meetings to do with product planning.
Since October, other companies including Balenciaga, Vogue, the record label Def Jam, the major talent agency CAA and the movie studio MRC (who had financed and filmed a documentary about Ye) have all separated from Ye.
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Sarah Do Couto