Ever since adidas confirmed that it was cutting ties with Kanye West over his unrepentant anti-Semitism, the question has plagued sneakerheads: what's gonna happen to the adidas YEEZY sneakers? Finally, adidas clarified things: it's still gonna sell YEEZY shoes, just without Ye's name or company attached.
adidas confirmed its loose concept for the future of its YEEZY sneaker designs during an earnings call on November 9.
The main thrust of the event was to adjust the sportswear giant's expected 2022 revenue as a result of both a $500 million hit from the termination of the YEEZY business and ongoing pains from China, one of adidas' biggest markets. China is still grappling with its "Zero Covid" policy and thus foot traffic to stores has slowed and, in some reason, ended entirely.
But, amidst the financial updates, adidas also revealed some key tidbits about the future of YEEZY. Or, rather, the YEEZY shoes that adidas produced.
adidas claimed to have "interesting plans" for the YEEZY designs, clarifying that it owns the intellectual property and rights for certain YEEZY creations, including some that have yet to be released.
Social media rumblings suggest that because the unreleased YEEZY shoes were envisioned by people like adidas' well-regarded VP of global design, Nic Galway, the Three Stripes retains the rights. Note that this scuttlebutt is completely unconfirmed, though.
However, plenty of YEEZY goods are “our product,” Harm Ohlmeyer, adidas' CFO, said when announcing the earnings update. “We own all the IP, we own all the designs, we own all the versions and new colorways, so it's our IP, it's our product."
"Interesting things" will be "coming to fruition "in 2023."
Just a day prior to the call, adidas announced a shift in management, with CEO Kasper Rørsted to be replaced with former PUMA CEO Bjørn Gulden on January 1, 2023, marking another interesting thing for the new year.
adidas finally cut ties with Ye and YEEZY on October 25 following weeks of protracted tension over contract disputes and social media tirades, including allegations that adidas was swiping YEEZY concepts for in-house designs.
Following Ye's explosive YZY SZN 9 fashion show and subsequent anti-Semitism, including a promise to go "Death Con 3" on "the Jewish people," adidas made its split from Ye official.
Previous business partners like GAP and Balenciaga beat adidas to the punch, both dropping Ye as a business partner by mid-October. However, GAP only removed YEEZY products from stores after adidas ended its relationship with YEEZY.
On October 16, Ye boasted on a podcast that he was so valuable to adidas that the German sportswear company could never considering cutting ties with YEEZY, no matter what he said.
Nine days later, adidas did just that.