It’s been almost a month since Kanye West returned to Instagram after being suspended for breaking the platform’s policy rules. But on Monday, June 13, the musical genius and fashion designer woke up with a vengeance and accused Adidas of copying his popular Yeezy design.
In the since-deleted post from the billionaire rapper’s Instagram, he called out the brand he’s worked with for nearly a decade.
“THIS IS YE driving down the same street Kobe passed on Maybe I fee that Mamba spirit right now. To Kasper I’m not standing for this blatant copying no more,” said the “Easy” artist. “To all sneaker culture…to every ball player, rapper, or even if you work at the store. This is for everyone who wants to express themselves but they feel they can’t cause they’ll loose their contract or be called crazy.”
Along with the post, the 45-year-old shared a photo of Adidas’ Adilette 22 slides, a design that is set to drop on June 23. The shoes look similar to his Yeezy slides, which also have a thick midsole. The Adilette 22 features a textured design compared with the smooth top on Yeezys. West told Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted to come to him directly to address the matter.
Later he continued, “These shoes represent disrespect that people in power have to the talent. This shoe is a fake Yeezy made by Adidas themselves. I’m not talking to DC about this either. Kasper come talk to me. Happy Monday.”
Kanye West made history when he signed a $10 million deal with Adidas after splitting from Nike in 2013. According to Forbes, West’s fashion endeavors have increased his worth from $1.8 billion in April 2021 to $2 billion in the past year alone.
Earlier this year, the father of four was ranked No. 5 on the outlet’s list of the Highest-Paid Entertainers of 2022. He currently owns 100 % of his Yeezy sneaker brand and released a collaboration with Gap clothing, which reportedly hit sales of $1 billion in its first year. It led to another collaboration with luxury house brand, Balenciaga. West also makes an estimated $180 million from his musical catalog and has stake in his soon-to-be-ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS brand.
Adidas may want to pump the brakes on the release of the Adilette 22 slides. The last time a major company sold shoes that West decided looked too similar to Yeezys he slapped that company with a lawsuit.
In 2021, Walmart removed a pair of shoes from their site after West accused the department store of selling knockoff versions of his Yeezy Foam Runners. The giant retailer said third-party sellers, not Walmart, were the ones selling the knockoffs on the Walmart Marketplace site. The faux Yeezys were going for less than $23. The first pair of Yeezy Foam Runners, released in June 2020, had a retail price of $75. The shoes easily sell from anywhere between $800 to even $1,000 on popular shoe reselling sites such as Flight Club, StockX and GOAT.