- In an earnings call on Wednesday, Adidas said it plans to release more Yeezys under its own branding.
- Adidas ended its partnership with Ye in October, but it still owns the designs.
- Ye had previously objected to Adidas releasing shoes without his approval.
Adidas intends to release more Yeezys, but without Ye, as early as next year, the company said at its quarterly earnings call on Nov. 9.
Adidas began its partnership with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, in 2013. The nine-year relationship proved financially successful but turbulent. After anti-Semitic statements and a series of public criticisms from him, Adidas finally parted ways with the musician and fashion designer on October 25.
Ye has frequently feuded publicly with Adidas management, including in June when he vigorously objected to the company releasing slides resembling the Yeezy Slide, calling them “a counterfeit YEEZY made by Adidas itself.” “ referred to.
“I’m not into this blatant copying anymore,” he wrote on Instagram in response to pictures of the Adidas Adilette Slide. Ye has also condemned Adidas for creating “Yeezy Day” without his consent, self-naming sneaker releases, and not opening physical retail stores dedicated to his brand.
In a call Wednesday to discuss quarterly results, Adidas Chief Financial Officer Harm Ohlmeyer reiterated that the company owns the designs it has created in partnership with Ye.
“Adidas is the sole owner of all registered design rights for existing products,” he said. “We want to make use of these rights as early as 2023.”
Pressured during a subsequent Q&A with reporters, Ohlmeyer declined to elaborate on Adidas’ plans, other than that the company “owns all the versions and new colorways. It’s our IP”.
-sockjig (@sockjig) November 9, 2022
An exception might be the Yeezy Slide, for which Ye owns the patent.
A reporter asked Ohlmeyer if there would be a reputational risk for the company if it continued to release Yeezy products even though it no longer had the artist’s endorsement.
“We are examining all options,” said Ohlmeyer. “When the time is right, we will be more specific.”
Sneaker Twitter’s reaction to Adidas’ rebranding of Yeezy is that the shoes will likely sell, but will not generate the previous hype achieved with Yee’s involvement.
When Adidas announced the split from Ye, the company said it expects earnings of $247 million this year. Wednesday’s earnings report was in line with that forecast. Ohlmeyer added that the company’s annual revenue this year would be about $502 million lower than expected.
But Adidas will save around $302 million in 2023 as it will no longer pay royalties and marketing costs to support its Yeezy business. When Kanye left Nike for Adidas in November 2013, he criticized Nike – and then-CEO Mark Parker – for not paying him royalties on shoes sold.
— Vikram Ramalingam (@VRAMM17) November 9, 2022
“Nike told me, ‘We can’t give you royalties because you’re not a professional athlete,'” West said in 2013.
Ohlmeyer was also asked if Adidas planned to cancel existing merchandise or release it at a later date.
“We need to take the time to consider what the best options are,” Ohlmeyer said. “When the time is right, we’ll be more specific.”