Adidas said Thursday that its business partnership with Kanye West is “under review” after the rapper-designer made a string of headlines recently for controversial political statements and personal matters involving his family.
West sparked major backlash this week for showcasing “White Lives Matter” merchandise under his YZY label for Paris Fashion Week. He turned heads when he wore a long-sleeve shirt with the contentious slogan smeared across the back. Black models also wore apparel with the phrase. The Anti-Defamation League equates the phrase to hate speech.
“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,” the company said in a statement Thursday.
“We are proud of our team that has worked tirelessly throughout our collaboration with Ye 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.”
West responded on his Instagram with a post that said, “FUUUUUUCK ADIDAS I AM ADIDAS ADIDAS RAPED AND STOLE MY DESIGNS.”
Adidas declined to comment further on the matter to The Daily Beast.
West also ended his partnership with Gap recently, a deal he had been working on since 2020. He claimed the company had breached their contract by not opening enough stores or releasing apparel.
Attendees of Monday’s Yeezy fashion show voiced their criticism at the offensive t-shirt, including Jaden Smith who left early, according to Page Six.
“I Had To Dip Lol,” the actor-model wrote in a series of tweets. “True Leaders Lead. I Don’t Care Who’s It Is [sic] If I Don’t Feel The Message I’m Out. Black Lives Matter. We Demand A More Progressive Future.”
Vogue editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson also voiced her disgust, calling the shirt “pure violence.” “There is no excuse, there is no art here,” she said.
West immediately went on the defense and attacked her on Instagram, as well as celebrities like Gigi Hadid and Hailey Bieber who came to Karefa-Johnson’s defense.
“This is not a fashion person. You speak on Ye Ima speak on you, Ask Trevor Noah,” he captioned the post before ridiculing Karefa-Johnson’s boots.
Vogue released a statement defending its global fashion editor at large and longtime contributor. “She was personally targeted and bullied. It is unacceptable,” the publication posted on Twitter. “Now, more than ever, voices like hers are needed and in a private meeting with Ye today she once again spoke her truth in a way she felt best, on her terms.”
West has also come under fire recently for airing out disagreements with his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, concerning their children, and threatening her now-ex boyfriend Pete Davidson.