UPDATE 06/13, 10:00 p.m.: Kanye made another Adidas-related Instagram post tonight, sharing a screenshot of a text message that appears to outline the terms of his contract with the brand. Highlighted is a clause that notes “There is a limited exception where he can do Yeezy-branded casual and lifestyle apparel on his own but not with a competitor.”
From the post, it appears that Kanye is teasing the launch of his own Yeezy clothing line without the help of Adidas, but that could also be a form of negotiation.
West’s deal with Adidas is currently set to expire in 2026.
See the original story below.
Kanye West is back on Instagram, and today he’s set his sights on an unexpected target: Adidas.
Ye returned to his account for the first time in weeks to post an image of the Three Stripes’ new Adilette 22 slides, accusing the company of “blatant copying”. Released earlier this month, the updated version of the brand’s signature slide features a redesign that Adidas says is inspired by “3D topography and human expeditions to Mars.” The slide has a warped 3D print mold and has been previewed in a variety of earth tones. It’s similar to the Yeezy Slide from West’s own Adidas line and is apparently too close for the comfort of Kanye, who called out Adidas CEO Kasper Rørsted about the new version.
“To Kasper, I no longer stand for this blatant copying,” West wrote. “To all of sneaker culture…This is for anyone who wants to express themselves but feels like they can’t get their contract fired or be called crazy…These shoes represent the disrespect that people in power have for talent.”
West goes on to say that he’s not talking to “DC” about it and instead wants to talk to Rørsted directly. A source tells Complex that the “DC” mentioned in the post is Daniel Cherry III, who joined Adidas as senior vice president and general manager in January 2022. According to his LinkedIn, Cherry previously worked alongside West in the frame of Nike’s Air Force 1 25e “Classic” anniversary campaign.
The Adilette 22 slides were released earlier this month for a retail price of $55 and have since sold out on adidas.com, but another release is currently announced for July 8th. $55 but has since seen its price increase to $60.
West’s complaint may not be without merit. While it’s common in the sneaker industry for brands to release derivative variations of their own popular models, Adidas has dropped Yeezy-adjacent shoes since the line’s debut. Sneakers like the Tubular Invader and Tubular Shadow were reminiscent of the Yeezy Boost 750 and Yeezy Boost 350 respectively, and the new Adidas foam shoes drew comparisons to the Yeezy Foam Runner.
Adidas did not respond to a request for comment.