Adidas is betting Kanye West can drive sales of clothing and shoes with the launch of Adidas + KANYE WEST, a new YEEZY entity that consists of footwear, accessories, and apparel. The relationship between Adidas and the rap mogul is stronger than ever, now their collaboration is expanding into a full fledged partnership. Kanye hopes to get his sneakers on major league basketball and football players, according to Forbes.
Kanye West teamed up with Adidas in 2014 and helped revitalize their image. The Yeezy Boost 750 and 350 were one of the most hyped-up sneakers the company has ever seen. In 2015, the “Famous” rapper and Adidas created Yeezy Season 1—Kanye’s first apparel collection. This line was sold in high-end retailers across the world, according to GQ. Now, the Adidas will work with Kanye to create new lines of shoes, clothes and accessories for both street and sportswear.
Eric Liedtke, Adidas CMO said great things about the collaboration in a press release.
“Kanye is a true creator who has the ability to see things others don’t. We are excited and honored to build on this partnership, and eagerly look forward to defining the future together … With adidas + KANYE WEST we are exploring new territories by opening up the sports world to Kanye’s creativity. This is what adidas has always been about, empowering creators to create the new.”
A spokeswoman from Adidas declined to give exact financial details or specify how long the deal will last, however media purports the value of the previous deal to be at $10 million. Adidas poached West from arch rival Nike in 2013. According to GQ, West did not feel Nike valued his influence. This move helped Adidas to revive their image in the U.S. Market. West encouraged others to dream without limitations.
“This partnership illustrates that anyone with a dream can dream without limitations.”
Kanye feels being a musician and an athlete are one in the same, therefore his influence is valid. “I’m not just a musician singing in front of a mic, we are running, jumping, we’re getting hurt … We’re in the same arenas that the ballplayers play in.”
West unveiled his Adidas sneaker, the Yeezy 750 Boost, in January last year. An exclusive 9,000 pairs of the $350 gray suede sneaks were released. These shoes could sell for thousands on eBay, according to Billboard. Adidas has described the deal with Life Of Pablo rapper as the most significant partnership between a non-athlete and a sports brand. The sportswear giant says they will develop beyond their lifestyle focus to introduce sports performance designs, according to NBC News.
The new stores will also begin selling Yeezy branded items. The rapper turned designer is a self proclaimed “hip hop designer” and says he hopes to surpass Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer, according to NBC News. There could be potential Adidas + Kanye West retail stores, the company says that is yet to be determined.
Calvin Harris Spotted Wearing Air Yeezys By Kanye West After Taylor Swift Split
Kanye West has many celebrity fans of the Yeezy brand, including Taylor Swift’s ex boyfriend, Calvin Harris. The international DJ stepped out in red Air Yeezy’s by Kanye West. Many saw this as a jab at Swift. Taylor and West’s beef dates back to the 2009 MTV VMAs, when the rapper interrupter the singer-songwriter during her acceptance speech. This moment went viral and was parodied many times, even by Kanye himself.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) June 19, 2016
Taylor and Kanye were said to have reconciled yet on Kanye’s new track, “Famous,” he says, “I made that b***h famous.” West said he spoke with Taylor in advance saying she “thought it was funny and gave her blessings.”
This is officially the next chapter between Adidas and West. This union transforms the way celebrities and sportswear brands collaborate. For many decades, sportswear brands were cautious when working with non-athletes.
[Photos by David Becker/Stringer/Getty Images]