After adidas officially cut ties with Kanye West and the Yeezy brand last month we sat eagerly awaiting the company’s Q3 earnings announcement scheduled for November 9th, 2022. This would be the first time the brand would comment on the saga and clear up some assumptions in relation to the post-Kanye era. It didn’t disappoint, with adidas CFO Harm Ohlmeyer confirming they’ll continue to sell “Yeezys” into 2023.
Will adidas Keep Selling Yeezys?
The answer is yes, they just won’t bear the Yeezy name as adidas doesn’t hold the license, only the shoe designs.
Ohlmeyer confirmed the company has plans to “leverage the existing inventory.” Reiterating that “adidas is the sole owner of all design rights registered to existing products,” and that they “intend to make use of these rights as early as 2023.” A move that’s hardly surprising given the 1.5 billion USD contract Kanye West and adidas were entertaining at the time of the rapper’s departure.
Is Adidas planning to just sell Yeezys without the Yeezy name? “Too early to say when and how we come up with these plans, but it’s definitely current product but also future product not under the Yeezy label,” says Adi CFO.
— brendandunne (@brendandunne) November 9, 2022
And that’s not to say they haven’t already done so. Kanye West has gone on the record numerous times stating that his designs are being stolen, including a post from October where he claimed “I am adidas, adidas raped and stole my designs”. A response directly (or indirectly) related to the Yeezy-like adiFOM Q release above.
Can You Still Buy Yeezys In-Store?
The short answer is no. All adidas Yeezy’s have been pulled from the shelves of sneaker retailers, with Sole Collector’s Brendan Dunne stating that “adidas is reaching out to sneaker boutiques and telling them to pull Yeezy products. Stores are not allowed to launch Yeezys and all deliveries will be stopped.”
A number of Yeezy models are still selling for below retail online, you can check them out right here.
So, Kanye Never Designed the Yeezys?
We hate to break it to Mr West, but Kanye isn’t credited as the ‘inventor’ on any of the most popular sneaker release design patents from the brand. Many fans investigating the situation suggest Kanye only owns one adidas-related patent, the Yeezy Slides. However, adidas CFO Harm Ohlmeyer confirmed the footwear giant is the sole owner of all designs.
Kanye is NOT listed as the inventor of any Yeezy patents, with the brand remaining “the sole owner of all design rights to existing products as well as previous and new colourways under the partnership.”
How Much Money is adidas Going to Lose?
adidas CFO originally forecast sales to have an expected short-term negative impact of up to €250 million on the company’s net income in 2022 given the high seasonality of the fourth quarter.
According to Cowen’s John Kernan, the Yeezy brand currently represents 4-8% of the company’s total revenue. So it makes sense that the brand will be looking to offload scheduled colourways and silhouettes, but don’t expect them to wear the “YZY” logo.
At the Q3 announcement on Wedneday, the adidas CFO stated it had lowered its earnings forecast for the year to account for losses from ending its partnership with the rapper. Ohlmeyer said the profitability of the partnership had been “overstated” and that the brand will offset the loss in revenue by no longer having to pay royalties and marketing fees to Mr. West.
Why Was Kanye West Released by adidas?
Kanye West was released by adidas after a slew of antisemitic comments in public. A statement released from the brand addressed the situation almost a week after the comments were made, saying “Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”
A new era of adidas will start in the new year with Bjorn Gulden, the CEO of Puma, entering the fold as the new CEO. We’d forecast an onslaught of suede Gazelles, Sambas, and Stan Smiths to arrive next year.
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