Over the last month or so, Kanye West has been on a mass media tour, giving interviews to any and all
platforms, in the name of free speech, and to air out his grievances with his collaborating brands. But
whilst this has caused subsequent fallout with those brands, namely Adidas, it wasn’t his dismissive
comments about them directly that spurred their relationship to splinter, but rather the antisemitic
comments Kanye West has been vocalizing.
As a result, the 45-year-old rapper and designer hailing from Chicago has been formally dropped from
his contract with Adidas. Publicly condemning his words towards the Jewish community, although not
commenting on his other hateful remarks, Adidas have finally committed to leaving Kanye West and
recalling all shoes made in collaboration with him from stores. Whilst this is a story in itself, that is being
covered all over the news, we would like to quickly have a look at what Kanye’s actions mean to those
within the industry.
As we are all aware, Yeezy has been extremely successful, and as a result, they have built a huge team to
power the collective creative genius behind each of their shoe releases. All of this team are now out of a
job as a result of Kanye West’s actions. Many of these team members that have lost their jobs have
made it clear that they publicly support what Adidas has done but will miss their team and the work
they did with them. So many people are involved in the designing process of a shoe, from the materials
to the technology, and the colour palettes. And many of these talented designers have been caught in
the crossfire, paying the price for their boss’s actions.
Image: House of Heat
Moreover, many stores have come out in support of Adidas dropping Kanye but are distraught over their
choice to withdraw Yeezy’s from stores. Not necessarily because they thought it was “going too far,” but
rather because of how much they relied on Yeezy deliveries to make their living. Yeezy’s were always
excellent selling shoes and were therefore very important releases for retail stores attempting to turn in
a profit, so to have that stream of income wiped out overnight, after waiting for a response from Adidas
for so long, has been met with strong criticism.