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For everyone who considers themselves a sneakerhead, the return of the Yeezy sneakers is undeniably an event to keep an eye on. Look at the designs now!

Yeezy’s boots, sneakers and slides: Here’s why they’re back at Adidas

The iconic Yeezy sneakers, born out of a partnership between Adidas and the artist formerly known as Kanye West (now Ye), are making their return to the market after a rather tumultuous period. This comes months after Adidas decided to part ways with Ye due to his divisive remarks and behavior.

Let’s take a look at the Yeezy boots and what this may mean for the rapper so quickly fallen from grace.

The aftermath

In late October of last year, Adidas cut ties with Ye, marking the end of a partnership that had spanned several fruitful years. This decision, driven by the artist’s harmful and antisemitic comments, left over a billion euros worth of unsold Yeezy shoes in limbo. However, Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden unveiled plans earlier this month to sell a chunk of the remaining stock and donate part of the proceeds to social justice groups.

This Wednesday, the first batch of Adidas’ leftover Yeezy boots went live, available through Adidas’ “Confirmed” app. The sales will benefit a handful of organizations, such as the Anti-Defamation League and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change. This sale marks the first Yeezy dispatch since the partnership’s dissolution last October, and it includes designs from last year as well as those set to debut in 2023.

Impacting communities

“We believe this is the best solution as it respects the created designs and produced shoes, it works for our people, resolves an inventory problem, and will have a positive impact in our communities,” Gulden stated in a May 19 announcement. This decision came after careful discussions with NGOs and communities harmed by Ye’s words and actions.

While several details remain unclear, such as how many Yeezys will ultimately hit the market and what sales portion will be donated, this move has piqued industry and consumer interest alike. Cutting ties with Ye cost Adidas a significant amount, contributing to a sales loss of 600 million euros in 2022’s last quarter and driving the company into a quarterly net loss. Yeezy boots became another kind of meme overnight.

The legacy

The Yeezy brand, a union of Ye’s artistic vision and Adidas’ sportswear prowess, quickly garnered a dedicated following and established a significant presence in the sneaker industry. Launched in 2015, the Yeezy footwear line, characterized by its unique designs and limited availability, was an instant hit. 

Despite the controversy, the shoes’ high demand and distinct aesthetics ensured that they remained hot commodities on the market.

In recent years, the Yeezy brand has expanded to include apparel and accessories, making a substantial impact on the fashion industry, influencing trends, and attracting sneaker and fashion enthusiasts alike. 

What’s next

However, the partnership’s termination has not come without its legal hiccups. Adidas faces a class-action lawsuit alleging the company was aware of Ye’s offensive remarks years before ending the agreement. Adidas has since refuted these allegations. Nevertheless, the Yeezy boots are back on the shelves.

For everyone who considers themselves a sneakerhead, the return of the Yeezy sneakers is undeniably an event to keep an eye on. The line between value and values grows ever deeper with the shoe line, especially given their unique position at the intersection of controversy and influence. 

However, one question lingers: will the return of Yeezy sneakers turn the tide for Adidas in 2023?


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