'It’s time for me to go it alone' - here's why Ye is beefing with Adidas and Gap

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Rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West.
Rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West.
Photo: George Pimentel/Getty Images
  • Rapper and designer Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, is once again at loggerheads with his corporate partners.
  • Ye alleges Adidas has been stealing his ideas and producing imitations of his Yeezy shoe line. 
  • He has recently made similar allegations against his clothing brand partner, Gap.

Rapper and designer Ye West, formerly known as Kanye West, says he’s done with his corporate partners and plans to branch out solo.

In an interview Bloomberg the rapper said, “It’s time for me to go it alone, “It’s fine. I made the companies money. The companies made me money. We created ideas that will change apparel forever. Like the round jacket, the foam runner and the slides that have changed the shoe industry. Now it’s time for Ye to make the new industry. No more companies standing in between me and the audience.”

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But why?

Ye has had long-standing disagreements about how the Yeezy footwear has been managed, particularly in times when he was not consulted on the planning and strategic processes. Now, his latest gripe with the sportswear giant is that they (Adidas) have designed slides, the Adilette 22, that took on a Yeezy-style look, which he says is “blatant copying” in a series of now-deleted Instagram posts.

In response to these claims, Adidas seemingly replied by defending its AdiFom Q sneaker by posting a side-by-side comparison of the 2001 version of the sneaker, as well as a modified 2022 version, suggesting that the shoes existed long before Kanye’s idea of Yeezy did.

Prior to that, as recent as a month ago, he claimed the idea of YEEZY Day - a day when new Yeezy releases and restocks Yeezy drop - was not his and he had not approved the return of older styles, new colours and more.

In addition to his beef with Adidas, he is also seemingly unimpressed with his clothing partner, Gap.

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In 2020, the Runaway hitmaker signed a 10-year partnership deal with the retail brand to make the Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga (YGEBB) line, which consists of his usual boxy-style shirts, hoodies, sweaters, bags, tank tops, as well as cargo pants.

Then, in January 2022, he made an official announcement that the line would drop at the beginning of the U.S. summer.

However, following his rant about his disdain towards Adidas, Ye went on to attack GAP making similar claims to the ones he made against Adidas - saying the brand had imitated one of his YGEBB designs.

What now?

Ye was quoted saying he would be ending his partnerships with both Gap and Adidas when the respective contracts with the corporate giants expire.

“They my new baby mamas,” said Ye. “I guess we’re just going to have to co-parent those 350s.”

The musician and fashion designer is set to open his own Donda campuses across the U.S., all of which will house shopping, schools, farms and dorms altogether. He also intends to sell products that will be unique to Yeezy’s physical and online shops - aspecifically designed by existing Yeezy staff.

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