Chief Financial Officer Harm Ohlmeyer made the announcement during a quarterly earnings call on November 9th. “adidas is the sole owner of all design rights registered to existing product,” he said. “We intend to make use of these rights as early as 2023.”
He did not offer specifics, but explained, “We need to take our time to review what the best options are. When the time is right we will be more concrete.” Ohlmeyer added that the company owns “all the versions and new colorways. It’s our IP.”
One notable exception is the Yeezy Slide, for which Ye secured a patent in 2020.
adidas entered a partnership with West in 2013 but cut ties with the rapper and fashion designer in October after he made a string of antisemitic comments. West had also sought an end to the union after he said the apparel maker had ripped off his designs. In June, he complained of “a fake YEEZY made by Adidas themselves,” after the company released slides that he said resembled the Yeezy Slide.
By his own admission West became increasingly antagonistic. In October he released a documentary, Last Week, in which he tried to intimidate adidas executives by showing them pornography. After the bizarre exchange, one of Ye’s associates said, “What you’re feeling right now is extreme discomfort, and that is exactly the point. Because when someone steals this man’s ideas, his creations, it’s like you’re stealing a child. These are all children of his mind, and you’ve kidnapped them.”
The end of his lucrative adidas deal is the most prominent reason that West lost $1.5 billion in a matter of weeks and is no longer a billionaire. Some of his fans attempted to restore his billionaire status by launching short-lived GoFundMe campaigns. West also recently got into heated argument at his son’s soccer game, storming off before the match’s completion, and he tried to sell White Lives Matter apparel, but couldn’t because two Black men own the trademark.