- Kanye West stepped out wearing Nike shoes and his newly-announced Gap x Yeezy jacket last week.
- West has a partnership with Adidas, which controls the site his Yeezy shoes are sold on, per Bloomberg.
- Some social media users speculated he could be signalling an end to his Adidas deal by wearing Nike.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Kanye West wore Nike shoes when he stepped out in the newly announced first product of his Gap and Yeezy collaboration.
West, who founded the apparel brand Yeezy, was spotted out on June 3 wearing Nike shoes and a bright blue puffy coat. A week after the photos were taken, Gap announced the $200 coat would be the first product created in collaboration with Yeezy.
-Kanye Media (@KanyeMedia_) June 4, 2021
West and Adidas announced the two would partner in 2013, in a deal reportedly worth $10 million at the time. Bloomberg reported Yeezy has a valuation of $3.2 billion to $4.7 billion, per investment bank UBS, due to the lucrative partnerships with Gap and Adidas. The partnership with Adidas, Bloomberg notes, runs through 2026.
Social media users pointed out the Nike shoes, and speculated whether he was in breach of the Adidas contract or announcing an end to the partnership.
-Thomas Dion (@somac40) June 4, 2021
-Ronnie Ray ✏️ (@NotRonnieRay) June 6, 2021
-AMIN FARI (@xxMRFaRixx) June 5, 2021
West has ownership over the Yeezy brand, but Adidas operates the website his shoes are sold on. Yeezy x Adidas sneaker sales amounted to $1.7 billion in 2020, according to Bloomberg, netting West with $191 million in royalties.
West’s first sneaker, the $245 limited-edition Air Yeezy, was released in collaboration with Nike in 2009. The shoe later sold on the resale market for thousands of dollars, and a prototype of the shoe with a value of more than $1 million could become the priciest sneakers ever sold.
Some analysts and insiders consider Yeezy one of the most influential sneaker brands ever, reportedly inspiring the now-popular shoe brand Allbirds, Insider’s Mary Hanbury reported.
Nike, Adidas, and a representative for Kanye West did not immediately respond to a request for comment.