Could We Be Seeing The End Of adidas x YEEZY?

August 26, 2022 by Joey Birch

Could We Be Seeing The End Of adidas x YEEZY?

Since 2015, Kanye West and adidas have been in a harmonious relationship that has seen both parties flourish into becoming what could arguably be called a mega-corporation bringing in roughly $1.7 billion in 2021. 

However, much like Ye’s time at Nike that seemed to come to an abrupt end following a fallout over royalties surrounding his Nike Air YEEZY 2, the Chicago rapper seems to be going through similar turmoil with adidas - the brand he signed with following his departure from The Swoosh in 2013.

YEEZY Season 1

Debuted in 2015 at New York Fashion Week, YEEZY has slowly become one of the most influential brands in history. While the clothing has dipped in and out of popularity, after causing a mass wave of highstreet fashion copies upon its initial arrival, the adidas x YEEZY sneakers have remained in popular demand despite consistently evolving trends in a spectacle rarely seen even by the likes of Nikes greatest silhouettes such as the Air Jordan 1

adidas Ultraboost V1

7 years on, when YEEZY drops, the world watches. At the time the YEEZY 350 was released, adidas were seeing booming sales of their Ultraboost and NMD models each of which featured the incredibly comfortable ‘Boost’ technology developed around the time Ye moved to adi. 

Nevertheless, all good things must come to an end.

Throughout 2022, rumours and question marks surrounding adidas and Kanye have been consistently gaining traction and seem to be coming to a boiling point as we begin to enter the later part of the year. 

Cracks began to show in June when adidas released official images of their ‘22 line of slides named the ‘adilette’. Upon the images releasing, West took to Instagram to express his distaste at the “fake YEEZY”. This tirade came off the back of previous questions surrounding adidas’ previous models including the Tubular Shadow which many see as a more available iteration of the YEEZY 350.


The same sentiment was felt just months later when adidas announced another silhouette that seemed almost worryingly similar to a YEEZY product - the adiFOM Q. The silhouette, which is supposedly due to be a recreation of the 2001 adidas Quake looks closer to the YEEZY Foam Runner that was as polarising upon its announcement as it has become popular. 

While the release of the adiFOM Q didn’t cause a second rant from Ye, many were quick to point out the similarity, with adidas seemingly taking a jab at West with a TikTok of the silhouette with a voice-over jokingly stating “Is it me? Am I the drama”, seemingly in reference to Kanye’s previous outburst. 

The argument can be had that adidas is simply filling a void left by the exclusivity and popularity surrounding the YEEZY line that leaves many fans without a pair, despite the consistent rereleases. However, the consistent similarities are not without concern suggesting that adidas may be making moves to roll out their own stock of YEEZY-inspired footwear before the two part ways. 

While Kanye didn’t take to social media upon the announcement of the adiFOM, he was quick to announce his frustration with YEEZY Day in a long message to Complex via Instagram DMs. 

Much like the 26th of March is Air Max Day for Nike, the 2nd of August has become YEEZY Day for adidas and YEEZY. An annual celebration of the line, each year promises a range of rereleases allowing fans another chance at getting everything from more widely available pairs to another chance at more exclusive drops. 

While fans were waiting on the app for the new products to release, Ye approached Complex stating that YEEZY Day was not his idea. In fact, it was entirely created without his approval with The Three Stripes going on to name, sell and even hire team members without his approval. The validity of these claims are, as can be expected, hard to clarify. Seeing as 2022 marks the 3rd annual YEEZY Day since the first one took place in 2019, with no prior complaints from Ye, his statement should be taken with a grain of salt.

Nevertheless, the statement further suggested trouble in paradise between the two parties. Additionally, adidas confirmed a big rumour that had been circulating earlier in the year - the return of the OG YEEZY 350 ‘Turtle Dove’. The sneaker that started it all, the YEEZY Turtle Dove is one of the most sought-after sneakers in Ye’s roster, sitting in the rafters with the likes of the Air YEEZY 1 & 2. 

The official return of the beloved sneaker came as a surprise after many previous rumours lead people to assume that the newest ones were simply just another hoax. However, since the Turtle Dove release, further rumours have emerged that we can also expect to see the adidas YEEZY Boost 350 ‘Pirate Black’ return at the start of 2023. 

Following Kanye’s statement surrounding YEEZY Day, claiming that he didn’t endorse the celebrations in addition to not giving his go-ahead for a variety of other releases, the question arises as to the artists' stance on the rerelease of the Turtle Dove and Pirate Black and whether adidas are trying to flood the market before his departure or whether it’s simply an appropriate time to bring the classics back seeing as later models have had similar treatment.

The third development is the introduction of YEEZY’s answer to Nike By You. Designed by YEEZY fan and developer Hunter Martin, the system allows you to create your own colourway of the YEEZY Foam Runner, Slide and 500. The customisation system is available on the site and has no reference to adidas. At the time of writing, the website doesn’t allow you to purchase sneakers from the site.

While the site is not officially created by YEEZY or publicly endorsed by Kanye West could the introduction of the ‘YEEZY By You’ point towards a departure from adidas in the future with the brand continuing to release previous models? Or is it simply a program made by a loyal fan?

Amongst Ye’s trademarking of new logos for YEEZY, which includes clothing and footwear, along with his ongoing work with GAP and Balenciaga, the world watches in wonder as to the future of adidas and YEEZY. 

Nevertheless, with further colourways of the YEEZY 350 V2 set to release alongside rereleases of previous drops iterations of various silhouettes, adidas and Ye aren’t done just yet with the artists contract running until 2026.

For the latest on adidas and YEEZY, keep it Kick Game.