Kanye West might get his wish soon. The mercurial rapper-designer has been straining against his partnerships with Adidas and Gap for the better part of a year (longer, if you include the last time he raised a stink about his supposed treatment at the two companies). Today, a little under a month since he sent a letter to Gap demanding the formal end of his licensing deal, Adidas announced that his sportswear deal with the German company is also “under review.” In a press release, Adidas said:
“Adidas has always been about creativity, innovation, and supporting athletes and artists to achieve their vision. 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 [Kanye West] 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.”
That phrase “mutual respect” appears to be a pretty pointed reference to Kanye’s earlier slew of Instagram posts in which he accused Adidas of stealing his designs, bullied a mid-level exec tasked with being his liaison to the company, and taunted the company’s former CEO when he decided to step down. In response, Kanye posted a screenshot of a headline about the story with the caption, “FUUUUUUCK ADIDAS I AM ADIDAS ADIDAS RAPED AND STOLE MY DESIGNS.”
We’ll see how the situation plays out, but at this point, any decision either company’s leadership makes regarding whether to move forward with Kanye seems like it’ll be a win for them. Either they stick it out and make money, or kick him to the curb and lose one hell of a headache.