Adidas is selling Yeezy without Ye to its most loyal customers


Adidas has started selling its leftover Yeezys to its most loyal customers.

Last month, Adidas announced it would begin selling some of the remaining inventory of Yeezy products through its Confirmed app starting June 1. The shoes are now available for limited-time drops to customers who sign up to the adiClub membership and enter a draw to make the purchase.

It’s the first time in seven months that the shoes co-designed by rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, have been made available to shoppers. The three-stripes brand cut ties with Ye over his anti-semitic rants in October 2022, cutting short a 10-year-deal that was meant to run through 2026.

As a corporate penance of sorts, Adidas will donate “a significant amount” of proceeds from the sales to groups that fight “discrimination, hate, racism and antisemitism” such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change, which is run by Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, the three-stripes brand said. Adidas declined a comment request from Quartz last month seeking more detail on the donated proceeds and the groups selected for the funds.

Quotable: Why Adidas is selling Yeezy shoes

“We believe this is the best solution as it respects the created designs and produced shoes, it works for our people, resolves an inventory problem, and will have a positive impact in our communities. There is no place in sport or society for hate of any kind and we remain committed to fighting against it.” —Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden in the company’s May 19 statement

Adidas’ Yeezy business, by the digits

$2 billion: Yeezy sales in 2021

€1.2 billion ($1.3 billion): Revenue Adidas will forego in 2023 if it doesn’t sell Yeezy inventory

15%: Royalties Ye gets from Yeezy products. He wanted 20%, though.

20%: Sales decline in North America as “the region is particularly affected by the discontinuation of the Yeezy business.” Excluding Yeezy, sales were down 5%.

Adidas dropped a federal lawsuit against Ye and his companies

Selling the shoes solves only one part of the Ye problem—Adidas still has to iron out the details of its breakup. Days after the split, Adidas filed and won an “attachment order” to freeze $75 million in Yeezy’s account to stop the rapper and his companies from touching or moving the funds. Six months later, a judge lifted the freeze, saying Adidas’s arguments to keep it in place were “unpersuasive.”

On Tuesday (May 30), Adidas failed to secure the temporary restraining order (TRO) again. Shortly after, the company dropped its federal lawsuit seeking to freeze the money. Instead, it will seek damages for the harm Ye’s highly public and offensive conduct brought to Adidas’s business through private arbitration.

Another lawsuit: Adidas is also being sued

In late April, investors launched a class-action lawsuit against Adidas, alleging the company knew Ye’s offensive and harmful behavior well before terminating its pact with him. Adidas denies the accusations.

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