Kanye West to exit Gap and Adidas at end of contracts, after waging very public battles with retailers over designs: ‘No more companies standing in between me and the audience’
- Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, signaled that he will not renew his contracts with Adidas and Gap
- The Adidas contract will expire in 2026 and the deal with Gap lasts until 2030
- West has battled publicly with the two clothing manufacturers since his partnership began
- He accused Adidas of stealing his ideas and manufacturing competing products that are based on his designs
- Ye demanded to be placed on the Gap corporate board but has been rebuffed
- The Gold-digger artist hired disgraced Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to help him with his finances
- Cohen recommended transferring his multi-million-dollar cash holdings out of a small Wyoming bank to JPMorgan Chase
- Ye took the opportunity to reach out to Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who did not respond
- The multi-talented artist will not shift his focus to Donda Academy, a school dedicated to the memory of his late mother
‘Gold-digger’ rapper Kanye West said on Monday that he’s done with corporate sponsorships and will not renew his current contracts with Gap and Adidas when they expire – a move that would jeopardize billions of dollars in revenue.
‘It’s time for me to go it alone,’ the musician, who now goes by the name Ye, told Bloomberg News.
‘It’s fine. 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,’ he continued. ‘Now it’s time for Ye to make the new industry. No more companies standing in between me and the audience.’
The multi-Grammy Award-winning recording artist still has until 2026 before his deal with Adidas runs out and this contract with Gap, signed in June 2020, is good for for another eight years.
Recording artist and entrepreneur Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, at the Vogue International fashion show in New York
Not the first time: The singer and aspiring politician had previously complained but his lack of board seats. Seen here in a September 10 tweet
Rant: ‘I’M WEARING JORDANS TILL I’M ON THE BOARD OF ADIDAS,’ the Black Skinhead hitmaker tweeted, along with a skiing emoji, among other tweets
But in his mind, Ye, whose Yeezy Boost 350s are manufactured by the international sneaker company, they are already divorced.
‘They my new baby mamas,’ he told the financial news outlet. ‘I guess we’re just going to have to co-parent those 350s.’
Earlier this month, Ye has been on a social media blitz against the two clothing companies, accusing Adidas of seizing creative control over the Yeezy brand and stealing his design ideas to produce shoes similar to his Boost trainers. He also claimed that the shoe company ripped off his design for slides.
‘No one should be held in that position where people can steal from them and say we’re just paying you to shut up,’ he told Bloomberg. ‘That destroys innovation. That destroys creativity. That’s what destroyed Nikola Tesla.’
He’s hammered Adidas executives with a series of mocking Instagram posts until, he claims, his lawyers stepped in and asked him to stop.
In some of the posts, he superimposed Adidas executive Daniel Cherry’s head on another person’s body and created mocking videos of the corporate leader.
Ye also went after JPMorgan Chase, where he holds much of his money after switching from a small Wyoming bank, for not backing him in his war against the popular clothing brands.
Kanye West signed his deal with GAP in 2020, which has resulted in some bizarre designs
Taunting: The 45-year-old rapper-turned-designer has publicly declared a feud with Adidas, whom he’s partnered with via his Yeezy empire
‘I’ve went to JP Morgan but of course they won’t give me no deal flow cause Jin(g) Ulrich is on the board of both Adidas and JP Morgan. What shoe company will give me control. I need to be the head of the board and chief decision maker,’ he posted.
Jing Ulrich is the Chase vice chare of investment banking.
Ye also tried to get banking titan Jamie Dimon on the phone, but was ghosted by the financier.
‘I feel like there’s a lot of controlling and handling to suppress my ability to affect the American economy and industry,’ the rapper said of Chase.
Bloomberg reported that Ye holds $122 million cash and stock, but that his corporate deals make him a billionaire.
His financial dealings have been as eclectic as his music choices.
Ye hired Michael Cohen, the convicted ex-lawyer for former President Donald Trump, to give him some financial advice, according to Bloomberg News.
It was Cohen who recommended that he move his money from Wyoming, which he said ‘was not equipped to handle his business or him personally, to the major investment bank.
The Yeezy brand earned $191 billion in royalties in 2020 from the Adidas deal, according to USB Group AG.
The recording artist has groused almost from the beginning of his corporate collaborations that he was being frozen out of decision-making.
Kanye West, pictured here, signaled that he’s done with Adidas. He inked his deal with the shoe brand in 2015 and it will continue until 2026
Happier times: Kanye had previously tweeted enthusiastically about the collaboration
In July 2020, Gap stock dipped 7.4 percent after he threatened to pull out of deals with the clothing company a month after he signed the partnership with his Yeezy brand.
He threatened to do the same to the international sneaker maker, but their stock ended up for the day.
The musician’s public disagreements with the brands have created a corporate headache after other public figures like Sean Combs and Swizz Beatz declared a public boycott on Adidas.
Ye’s public disagreements with the brands have created a corporate headache after other public figures like Sean Combs and Swizz Beatz declared a public boycott on Adidas
Ye’s focus appears to be shifting from the Yeezy clothing company to Donda Academy, a school named after his late mother.
He plans to set up campuses across the country that will contain schools, farms, retail space, and dormitories, Bloomberg reported.
It’s unclear where Gap and Adidas fit in.
‘Every step of my career there was something in the way,’ Ye told the financial news service. ‘They did the dream, but just without Ye.’
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