Adidas will sell the shoes born from defunct collaboration with Kanye Westbut will donate the proceeds to charity: It took months, but the German sportswear giant appears to have made up its mind regarding the tons of unsold stock following the closure of the Yeezy x adidas line. A huge dilemma, given that we are talking about 1.3 billion dollars of goods (some sources say 1.2) left in stock and became unsellable following the divorce from the producer and rapper.
delivery: the split between adidas and Ye
Last October, Kanye West, who now calls himself Ye, saw a series of contracts with the fashion brands he collaborated with torn up following his repeated anti-Semitic, racist outbursts, rants bordering on mental lucidity. From the ‘White Lives Matter’ t-shirt that mocked the Black Lives Matter movement, to the bullying of those who tried to contest it (like the journalist Gabriella Karefa-Johnson), from the social posts praising God and Jesus to the anti-Semitic comments, that were the straw that broke the camel’s back, Kanye West rants a lot last fall.
All the brands involved with the controversial character, from Gap to Balenciaga, have distanced themselves from him, and so has adidas. But she found herself in big trouble: on the one hand, the loss of the staggering income that the collaboration with Ye guaranteed (every model of the Yeezy x adidas line caused a sensation, in particular the iconic slides with the notched sole and the foam sneakers), on the other hand the inventories.
Bjørn Gulden, who has taken over the reins of the company since the beginning of 2023, has declared that destroying the unsold is not a conceivable option (performing such a polluting and with the eyes of the world on you it wouldn’t have been a particularly smart move), and therefore a compromise was reached: to sell, but to donate the proceeds to charity. “Burning the goods is not the solution,” said the CEO. “We are trying to sell at least some of the merchandise e donate proceeds to organizations that have been impacted by Kanye’s comments”.
It is not yet clear what these organizations will be, but according to Gulden’s reasoning they should mainly be associations that fight racism and anti-Semitism. “We don’t know how and when yet, but we’re working on it,” he admits. However, in the event of a sale, another problem would arise, because part of the proceeds would also rightfully go to Ye: in short, the hot potato in adidas’ hands has not yet completely cooled down.
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