“This partnership illustrates that anyone with a dream can dream without limitations,” said Kanye West in a statement announcing his transformative partnership with adidas. Dubbed the “Most Significant Partnership Ever Created Between an Athletic Brand and a Non-Athlete”, this sees adidas make strides in cementing their long-term relationship with the Grammy-winning artist, through the launch of adidas x YEEZY, a YEEZY branded establishment producing footwear, apparel and accessories for all genders across street and sport. The historic progression of the collaboration between Ye and adidas has been such a thrill to witness as someone who is an advocate for dreaming beyond restrictions.
A little unknown fact is that the relationship between West and adidas began in 2006 when the ‘famous’ rapper designed a shoe for the brand, which was never released. West later moved on to partner with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Reebok and most notably, Nike, positioning him as a household name in the world of fashion. However, his fashion run has not always been smooth sailing, having received plenty of criticism from key industry players.
Fast-forward to February 2015, when the pair rolled out the launch of YEEZY Season 1 boasting an A-List FRow, including Diddy, Anna Wintour, Rihanna, wife Kim Kardashian, Alexander Wang, hip hop royalty Jay Z and Beyonce. Following the show, adidas soon announced that they would no longer be supporting the production of the YEEZY apparel and shows, but would be only focusing on the footwear. I can understand the brand’s decision to reexamine the partnership since the apparel struggled to sell as well as the footwear. West has since followed up with YEEZY Season 2, which was not memorable, and what was probably the most iconic moment in music and fashion culture, YEEZY Season 3 (hosted at the Madison Square Garden).
According to reports, since West’s first shoe launched, adidas share of the secondary sneaker market saw a tremendous jump, moving from 1% to a whopping 30%. From being style.com’s most watched show during fashion month, a ‘Sneaker Of The Year Award’ to a significant number of sales contributing to the company’s 5% growth in North America alone, I can definitely see why the brand would be willing to construct the rumoured to be worth $1 billion with Ye.
Looks like Mr West will no longer be needing Mark Zuckerberg to call him before the day ends.