After Lawsuit, Adidas Announces What They’ll Do with All The “Leftover” Yeezys

Adidas shareholders sued them for not ending the relationship with Kanye West sooner; the brand has just announced what will they do with all the merchandise they detained after the scandals.

Isabel Cara

Having Kanye West as a friend also means having an enemy, and Adidas is proving it as the brand’s shareholders have filed a class action lawsuit against them. Earlier this month, U.S. investors filed a lawsuit against sporting goods maker Adidas after its shares fell sharply following the breakup of its relationship with rapper Kanye West following his controversial comments.

In that lawsuit, formally filed in late April in federal court, the shareholders allege that Adidas “routinely ignored” Kanye West’s problematic behavior that he had already exhibited since 2018. They claim that senior executives “ignored serious issues” affecting the partnership with Ye, such as his anti-Semitic remarks and problematic comments about slavery.

The lawsuit reads that the shareholders allege Adidas was aware of his behavior and that the company “failed to take meaningful precautionary measures to limit negative financial exposure” if the relationship with Kanye West ended.

Recall that Adidas ended its partnership with Kanye West in October 2022 after the rapper made repeated anti-Semitic comments and after saying that slavery was a “choice” in a TMZ interview. “Yeezy” products had previously been a strong source of revenue for the company; however, due solely to the removal of the products from its catalog, management expects a loss in revenue of €1.2 billion this year.

The lawsuit does not directly accuse Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, but it does accuse Adidas CFO Harm Ohlmeyer and former CEO Kasper Rørsted. Investors are demanding coverage for anyone who bought an Adidas share from May 3, 2018 (when Ye made the slavery comment) through 2023.

For its part, Adidas has communicated the following, “We strongly reject these unfounded claims and will take all necessary steps to vigorously defend against them.” Recall that Adidas ended their relationship (of nearly 10 years) in October 2022 after Ye wore a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt in public. The Anti-Defamation League classifies the phrase as a hate slogan used by white supremacist groups, including the Ku Klux Klan. “I can say anti-Semitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me,” Ye said days later during a podcast recording.

What Will Happen to the Adidas X Kanye West Collection?

After recalling all the products designed by Kanye West, Adidas estimates that it could lose up to 700 million euros if it fails to dispose of the accumulated stock. Because of this, Bjoern Gulden, CEO of Adidas, made it known that they will sell some of the Yeezy merchandise, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to international organizations.

“What we are trying to do now over time is to sell some of this merchandise (…) Burning the merchandise would not be a solution,” explained the Adidas CEO. It is not yet clear how and when these goods will be sold. Would you buy anything?

Story written in Spanish by Daniela Bosch in Cultura Colectiva

Will Kanye West lose his fortune?