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Will Kanye West lose his fortune?

Kanye West has already lost the alliances that made him a billionaire. His value is now down to $400 million.

Kanye West is now persona non grata in the fashion world... well, and in the entire world. Ye had great partnerships with Balenciaga and Adidas, a marriage to one of the most famous and wealthy women in the world, a great family, and yes, a lot of money. But everything changed with his recent anti-Semitic and racist actions, as well as far-right comments and behavior. He has said publicly that he has bipolar disorder, but it is clear that his mental health is separate from his harmful views.

Balenciaga, with the creative mind of Demna, who was basically a “brother” to Kanye, had been collaborating with him for years. But now they no longer want anything to do with the artist or anything he has to propose in terms of fashion, especially after the anti-Semitic comments he made. Immediately after that, he retracted his statement and assured that he couldn’t be anti-Semitic because, according to him, all people of African descent are Jewish. Also, shortly before that, he did a fashion show with models wearing a T-shirt with the supremacist message “White Lives Matter.”

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That’s where it all ended with Balenciaga. And then came Germany’s Adidas, with whom he created the iconic Yeezy, which also broke up with him soon after. In a statement, the sports brand (which seeks to rid its image of anything related to anti-Semitism) said it does not tolerate “anti-Semitism or any other kind of hate speech” and that Kanye’s recent comments are “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous.” The brand is aware that this decision could have a negative economic impact in the short term, but the rapper’s persona is increasingly problematic.

On the other hand, as Tony Posnanski points out on Twitter, Adidas’ decision is likely due more to a drop in its stock than an act against anti-Semitism:

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“Adidas didn’t drop Kanye West to stand against anti-Semitism. They dropped him because their stock was falling hard, and an analyst told them to in order to salvage their stock value, they needed to drop him. Nothing heroic about what they did.”

As a result of these two breakups, with Balenciaga and Adidas (and more to come), Kanye West has officially dropped off Forbes’ list of billionaires. According to Forbes itself, without Adidas, Kanye’s worth drops to 400 million. The remainder of his estimated fortune comes from real estate, cash, his music catalog, and 5% of his shares in his ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s shapewear firm, Skims (although he hasn’t been involved in the brand since 2019).

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Story originally published in Spanish in Cultura Colectiva

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