How Adidas Can Still Make Yeezy Products without Kanye West

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As Adidas and quite a few other brands have cut ties with Adidas many people want to know, what is going to happen next?

As many saw this week, Adidas, Gap, Balenciaga and so many other brands cut ties with the rapper. Now fans are wondering, what is the future of those brands, especially Yeezy?

Some people may not know this but a lot of the deals that Kanye had with brands were not only major in terms of money but also big in intellectual property. 

LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 30: Vanguard Award winner Kanye West speaks onstage during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

After all of these brands dropped the star, Kanye dropped from a value of over $2 billion dollars to roughly $400 million. A lot of these deals were collaborations but people wanted to know what will be the future of these products since their termination. Brands like Adidas said in its statement that it would “end production of Yeezy branded products, and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.”


But the thing is if you look at the end of the statement you will find something that is raising a lot of questions on social media. 

Looking at the bottom the statement further reads “Adidas is the sole owner of all design rights to existing products as well as previous and new colorways under the partnership.” 

Basically that means that Adidas can make whatever it decides to with any of the mockups, designs, and even color schemes they made while in partnership with Kanye West. 

According to legal experts, the brand will not be able to use individual trademarks, but the designs themselves they can actually reuse. And according to Sole Retriever, this applies to all of the products except for the patent of Yeezy Slides. 

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 08: Recording artist Kanye West performs onstage during The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)

And since this partnership ended Kanye has been saying a lot of things to the press like that the designs were stolen from him. 


Some say that Adidas took too long to drop the artist and only did so because their stock was dropping nearly 18%. Others suggested that their legal team had to severely regroup due to how much legal IP was at stake. 

Others want to know if Kanye will build his own fashion empire or even brand of some sort. Most are saying that in the end Kanye really does not have the infrastructure to support that type of demand. Analyst John Kernan told CNN that the Yeezy brand accounted for 4 to 8% of Adidas’ overall revenues – not a huge number but definitely could have some impact. 

Others have brought up the fact that Kanye West owns 5% stake in Skims. People wonder if Kim will end up buying out the rapper after all companies tied to West have cut off any partnerships or working relationship.

In the end, people really don’t think that Adidas will do too much with the concepts and designs under their own name. 

MIAMI, FL – DECEMBER 05: Kanye West speaks at Surface Magazine’s DesignDialogues No. 6 With Hans Ulrich Obrist, Kanye West And Jacques Herzog at Moore Building on December 5, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Surface Magazine)

A lot of people also argue that Kanye carried such an impact and footprint on selling the brand and Adidas making their own version may not carry the weight. But we will obviously wait and see where the future of Adidas is headed to.

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