A look into Kanye West's future plans for Yeezy
A few days ago, Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, publicly criticized the executives of Adidas and Gap, his business partners for his brand Yeezy, through a series of Instagram posts. In some of the posts, the rapper even seemed to announce the end of his multi-million dollar collaborations with these big companies.
Speaking to American news outlet Bloomberg on Monday, the rapper-entrepreneur went into further detail about his comments, without, however, retracting his negative accusations against Gap and Adidas.
"It's time for me to go it alone," he said in a phone exchange. "I made the companies money. The companies made me money. We created ideas that will change apparel forever. Like the round jacket, the foam runner, the slides that have changed the shoe industry. Now it's time for Ye to make the new industry. No more companies standing in between me and the audience," he added.
The American designer does not intend to sign any new agreement with other large groups. But, while his previous posts have left the future of his current collaborations uncertain, they do not seem to be coming to an end anytime soon. According to Bloomberg, Yeezy's contract with Adidas extends until 2026 and the one with Gap until 2030. Kanye's company is still receiving substantial royalties on sales of Yeezy products by both groups.
A study by the investment bank UBS estimated last year that the contract between Adidas and Yeezy brought $191 million in royalties in 2020 to the rapper's company after the American group had sold more than $1.7 billion worth of Yeezy products.
The entrepreneur, who announced that he wanted to open Yeezy stores, also revealed that he is currently working with former Adidas executive Eric Lietdke in developing new projects without the support of any group. But, while he regularly complains about not being involved enough in strategic decisions regarding Yeezy products at Gap and Adidas, it does beg one question.
Will Kanye use his influence and fame to put further pressure on the two groups? Currently, both Gap and Adidas are undergoing significant changes in management. These reshuffles could potentially be an opportunity for the rapper to redefine the ground rules of his partnerships with the two companies.
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