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Adidas places Kanye’s branding deal ‘under review’ amid controversy.
Adidas has placed its partnership with rapper and designer Kanye West under review after working with him on his brand Yeezy since 2013. West, who now goes by Ye, has become increasingly critical of the retailer, claiming that they have been stealing his designs. Ye recently said he would “go at it alone” concerning his apparel line following frustrations with both Adidas and Gap.
“After repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation, we have taken the decision to place the partnership under review,” Adidas said in a statement to CNBC. “We will continue to co-manage the current product during this period.”
Adidas’ decision to review the partnership is unsurprising, given the rocky relationship between the rapper and the company this year. After Ye took to Instagram to accuse the company of stealing his designs, personally calling out Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted in the process, rapper Swizz Beatz responded with his own Instagram post to express his support for Ye.
“I usually mind my business, but this is DEAD WRONG! If we let them do this to Kanye West it will happen to us also,” said Swizz Beatz. “This man created this groundbreaking innovation, and it should be respected as creative. Ye is only asking for his work to be respected and not stolen.”
News of Adidas’ review of the partnership comes about a month after the rapper terminated his working relationship with Gap. Additionally, Ye sparked backlash just days prior for wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt at his Yeezy fashion show in Paris.
After reports surfaced weeks ago that Kanye was shopping around for offers on his catalog, the rapper announced that he was not looking to sell and that his catalog was put up for sale without his permission.
“Just like Taylor Swift, my publishing is being put up for sale without my knowledge,” Ye said on his Instagram story at the time, referring to the controversial 2019 acquisition by Scooter Braun of Taylor Swift’s Big Machine catalog.