Adidas will sell Yeezy items, donate some revenues

Adidas will begin selling existing Yeezy products in late May.

Source: Adidas

Adidas said Friday that it will start selling Yeezy products later this month for the first time since it ended its relationship with rapper Ye in October.

The apparel company cut ties with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, after he made a string of hateful, antisemitic comments. Adidas said it will donate a significant amount of revenue from the sale to at least two organizations that combat discrimination and hate, the Anti-Defamation League and the Philonise and Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change.

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“Selling and donating was the preferred option among all organizations and stakeholders we spoke to,” Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden said in a statement.

The ADL aims to fight antisemitism, while the organization run by family members of George Floyd works on criminal and social justice issues. Adidas said it has explored many options for what to do with existing inventory after it ended its partnership with Ye, and spoken with a diverse group of people about how to proceed.

“We believe this is the best solution as it respects the designs and produced shoes, it works for our people, resolves an inventory problem, and will have a positive impact on our communities,” Gulden said. “There is no place in sport or society for hatred of any kind, and we remain committed to fighting against it.”

The products will only be available through the Adidas website and app.

Adidas said the move will have no immediate effect on its financial guidance for 2023. Adidas’ most recent earnings beat expectations, but were weighed down by Yeezy inventory piling up.

“The decline in lifestyle and the loss of Yeezy are of course hurting us,” Gulden said during his company’s earnings call earlier this month.

Prior to the split, Adidas had said their partnership with Yeezy was one of the most successful collaborations in the history of the industry.

In October, the Anti-Defamation League urged Adidas to sever ties with its leading endorser following his hateful remarks. The ADL praised the company’s move on Friday.

“At a time when antisemitism has reached historic levels in the US and is rising globally, we appreciate how adidas turned a negative situation into a very positive outcome. They have shown real thoughtfulness in engaging with community organizations working to combat this pernicious and stubborn hatred.” ,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

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