This article was published on February 21, 2023 and updated on February 24
According to the internet, Kanye’s adidas partnership could be back on. Who’d have thunk it?
Less than two weeks after it was revealed that the German sportswear label could lose up to $1 billion in revenue as a result of the split, according to industry analysts gauging leftover stock, unfounded rumors are now suggesting that all is not lost between the pair.
These rumblings, which began on February 20, are coming from ardent YEEZY fans, not from Ye or adidas themselves, so take them with a very, very fine grain of salt. It's more that the people, not the brands, really want adidas YEEZY back and it's not even clear who started the rumors.
When reached for comment regarding the rumors, an adidas representative told Highsnobiety that it has "no updates to share" beyond the most recent earnings update.
The now-hermit Ye — who in January 2023 surprise-married former YEEZY employee Bianca Censori — was dropped by adidas (amongst others) in October following a barrage of anti-Semitic social media outbursts and hate speech.
Ye approached Skechers shortly after adidas cut ties, presumably seeking a new partnership, but was swiftly booted from headquarters.
Ye was also incredibly difficult to work with, according to reports, and that's putting it charitably: some insiders suggested that Ye showed pornography to adidas staff, among other things.
Even "free speech absolutist" Elon Musk couldn't handle Ye and booted him from Twitter shortly after Ye was reinstated.
There's clearly plenty of rationale behind Ye not rejoining adidas. But, at the same time, adidas' financial situation may provide some motive.
“The numbers speak for themselves. We are currently not performing the way we should”, said newly-appointed adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden in a recent press release.
“2023 will be a year of transition to set the base to again be a growing and profitable company. We need to put the pieces back together again, but I am convinced that over time we will make adidas shine again. But we need some time.”
On February 23, the rumor mill began churning again as more supposed "evidence" of adidas and Ye's YEEZY brand getting back together began surfacing on Twitter.
Hopeful Ye stans pointed to a recent photo uploaded by a photographer associated with Ye, among other things, that the adidas deal is back on.
Ironically, the photographer may be merely referencing the rumors himself, rather than confirming anything, creating a cycle of misinterpretation.
It can't be stressed enough that these assertations are entirely unofficial: Ye, YEEZY, and adidas have not commented on the rumors.
That hasn't stopped fanpages from claiming that they're official, however. Remember that "official" means that it's confirmed by the brands, not a random Twitter user.
It'd certainly be a strange (and potentially traumatic) decision for adidas to make given the high-profile split from Ye last year but, given those worrying figures from YEEZY fallout, there's at least an iota of precedent behind the whispers.
They build upon the previous rumors and assertations that adidas would sell its own YEEZY sneaker designs without Ye.
No evidence of that thus far, of course. However, YEEZY SUPPLY recently being shut down at least underscores that adidas YEEZY as we knew it is long gone.