Some of Adidas’s remaining Yeezy shoes are back on sale months after the German sportswear company cut ties with Kanye West.
Adidas ended its years-long partnership with West, now known as Ye, in late October, in light of his antisemitic remarks and other harmful behaviour.
In the months that followed, the fate of 1.2 billion euros (£1.05 billion) worth of unsold Yeezys remained unknown — until earlier this month, when Adidas chief executive Bjorn Gulden announced the company would be selling a portion of the remaining inventory and donating some of the proceeds to social justice organisations.
The first batch of Adidas’s remaining Yeezys went on sale on Wednesday. The sneakers appear to be available through Adidas’s app “Confirmed”, according to the retailer’s website.
Part of the profits will be donated to organisations including the Anti-Defamation League and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change, Adidas said.
“We believe (selling and donating these Yeezys) is the best solution as it respects the created designs and produced shoes, it works for our people, resolves an inventory problem, and will have a positive impact in our communities,” Mr Gulden said in a statement on May 19.
At an annual shareholder meeting on May 11, Mr Gulden explained the company made the decision to sell and donate Yeezys after speaking to nongovernmental organisations and groups that were harmed by Ye’s comments and actions.
Some details of Adidas’s plans are still unclear — including how many Yeezys will eventually go on sale and what portion of sales will be donated.
Cutting ties with Ye cost Adidas hundreds of millions of dollars — contributing to a loss of 600 million euros (£529 million) in sales for the last three months of 2022, which helped drive the company to a quarterly net loss of 513 million euros (£440 million).
Adidas reported 400 million euros (£356 million) in lost sales at the start of 2023, the company announced earlier this month.
Net sales declined 1% in the first quarter, to 5.27 billion euros (£4.52 billion), the company said. It reported a net loss of 24 million euros (£20.6 million), a plunge from a profit of 310 million euros (£266 million) in the same period a year ago.
Operating profit, which excludes some items like taxes, was down to 60 million euros (£51 million) from 437 million euros (£375 million) a year earlier.
Meanwhile, investors also filed a class-action lawsuit against Adidas in late April, alleging the company knew about offensive remarks and harmful behavior from West years before terminating its pact with him. Adidas has denied the allegations.