An astonishing statement from Adidas CEO Björn Gulden. The CEO explains on the “In Good Company” podcast that he doesn’t believe entrepreneur, designer and artist Ye – formerly known as Kanye West – was serious about his controversial anti-Semitic comments last year. However, it was precisely these statements that led to the Herzogenaurach sports goods manufacturer ending his collaboration with the designing musician.
Gulden also admits in the podcast that Ye’s statements were incorrect. “I don’t think he meant it and I don’t think he’s a bad person – it just came across that way,” Gulden said. However, the CEO still believes that ending the partnership with Ye was the right decision.
Not only did Ye make several anti-Semitic statements in 2022, stories about Ye’s possible cross-border behavior also came to light. Former Yeezy employees sent a letter to Adidas management about this. Ye’s behavior caused several fashion companies to distance themselves from the artist. For example, Balenciaga, Adidas, Gap and various second-hand platforms issued statements that they would no longer work with Ye or sell Yeezy products.
Ending the collaboration with Ye could cost Adidas 700 million euros, it was announced earlier this year. But this only applies if the Yeezy items that have already been produced are not sold. In the end, Adidas decided to get rid of the inventory through strategic and controlled sales. The first round of sales has reportedly already raised €508 million.
This translated and edited post previously appeared on FashionUnited.nl