What Will Happen To Yeezy? Will Yeezy Prices Go Up?

Multiple Yeezy shoes on display in KickSTW store

In the wake of another controversy surrounding Kanye West, Adidas has cut ties with the rapper. 

His allegedly antisemitic comments have caused the sportswear brand, and many other sponsors, to distance themselves from Ye. Despite the revenue losses. 

On top of the lost income, the split has thrown the fate of their shared line of shoes into question. So what happened and what does that mean for the iconic line of Yeezy sneakers?


What controversy?

For anyone who hasn’t been keeping up with the controversy around Ye, here’s a quick recap. 

Over the years, Kanye has been involved in some classic Hollywood drama, but more recently he has been making some troubling comments and his behaviour has been turning a lot of people off. From publicly supporting Trump to saying that slavery was ‘choice’, it seems like Ye is going down a bad path. More recently, Ye has tweeted out anti-Jewish rhetoric and even highlighted some of the supposed positives of Adolf Hitler. 

So, what does that have to do with Adidas? Well, if you’re reading this, then it’s probably safe to say that you know what a Yeezy is. This line of sneakers came from a partnership between Ye and Adidas. Following the latest round of controversy, Adidas ended its relationship with the rapper-turned-designer. 

The sportswear giant made their position clear in a statement: “Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness. After a thorough review, the company has decided to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately.”


What does that mean for Yeezy now?

After a statement like that, you wouldn’t be the only one asking what that means for the Yeezy line of shoes. It all comes down to who owns the IP for the brand and what’s in the contract between Adidas and Ye. 

For now, Adidas has said that it is shutting down production of Yeezy immediately. This has already cost the sportswear giant and they expect to lose US$247 million this year, possibly as much as eight per cent of their revenue. The announcement also saw a three per cent fall in Adidas stocks, putting the company in some dire straits. 

Cutting ties with Ye and some poor planning around the state of the economy has led Adidas to have a surplus of their goods, including this line of shoes. Yet, it is probable that unofficial markets and resellers will start purchasing Yeezys from Adidas, to store and sell them later at high prices. It makes sense given how quickly demand grew for the brand once the termination was made public.


What does the future of Yeezy look like?

The future of the Yeezy brand will mostly come down to the contract that Adidas and Ye signed, a contract that isn’t public. There are a couple of things that we do know, though, and we can make some guesses based on these.


Ye owns the IP for the brand

The brand Yeezy is owned by Ye. Barring any fancy legal work, this means that he would potentially be able to release new products under the Yeezy brand, something that he said he wanted to do in September 2022. 

While Adidas has stopped producing the Yeezy line, its current stock is still on the market. It’s important to note that Ye’s ownership of the IP means that royalties must be paid to Ye for any of these shoes sold. 

If Ye’s actions and words are not something you want to support then it might be best to wait until he is out of the picture. Who owns the designs?

While Ye owns the brand, Adidas owns most of the designs. Apart from the Yeezy slides, Adidas owns all the designs for the shoes as well as the past and future colour combinations.


What does that mean?

Without any surprises in the contract, this means that each side only gets a piece of the whole. Ye can release new apparel under the Yeezy brand as long as they aren’t the same designs as the existing shoes, except for the slides. 

On the other end, Adidas can keep making shoes with the same designs and different colour combinations as long as they don’t use the Yeezy name. So, we may be seeing the same shoes under a different name coming out.


Will the price go up?

As there is a high chance we will be seeing this line become two different brands, it depends on what you’re talking about. 

If you want the shoes and don’t care about the brand, then you may be in luck. Adidas needs something to fill the massive hole that was left by the deal they had with Ye. If they do, then we may be seeing cheaper prices as Adidas recovers from all its losses.  It’s not a guarantee, though, as they may see the line as tainted by their association with Ye. 

On the other side, If you want the brand not the shoe, Yeezy apparel is likely to keep running with new products to try out. You won’t find the same sneakers, but Ye has said on air that he wants to keep making Yeezy apparel. If this is the case, then chances are they might become more expensive as Ye doesn’t have the same inventory problems that Adidas does. 

It’s not unlikely that unofficial markets and resellers may start storing Yeezy’s to sell them later at high prices. Particularly now that there are no more being made. So if you need a pair, then it’s best to get in now while Adidas is forced to sell them cheap. Otherwise, you may find that a year or two from now, Yeezy sneakers will be selling for extremely high prices from private sellers.


Is there a new partnership between Ye and Adidas?

Rumours have also been swirling that a contract has recently been signed between Ye and Adidas, according to which Ye will help the latter sell the remaining $500 million worth of Yeezy stock. 

Re-signing Ye could be a financially beneficial option for Adidas, who are facing the predicament of holding billions of dollars worth of unsold products. However, they had publicly terminated their partnership with Ye due to his highly controversial behavior. Bringing him back after this could, therefore, severely damage Adidas’ brand image.

It’s certainly a dilemma for Adidas, but whether or not there is truth to this rumour is yet to be known.




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