It has officially been announced by Kanye himself that he has signed a deal to work with sporting heavyweights Adidas. The partnership is a new step in West’s future as a designer and creative. It isn’t a strange pairing, as adidas has a history of working with designers like Yohji Yamamoto, who helms the Y-3 collection, and collaborations with the likes of Kazuki Kuraishi, Takahiro Miyashita, Jeremy Scott and Mark McNairy.
This new deal comes off the back of some very vocal judgements against fashion industry heavyweights like designer Hedi Slimane, Francois Pinault (CEO of Kering Group), Bernard Arnault (CEO of LVMH), and Nike CEO Mark Parker. Kanye has been trying to make the fashion industry take him seriously, and his Yeezus Tour has been punctuated by vitriolic onstage banter against the industry and a corporate culture that he believes doesn’t have his best interests in mind.
Kanye played back to back shows last weekend in New York City’s Madison Square Garden, where he denounced Nike’s business practices, stating that he needed royalties for his work, mainly designing the wildly successful Air Yeezy series of sneakers. It would seem that Nike sees things differently, making the statement that Kanye is not an athlete. The all-red versions of the Air Yeezy IIs, dubbed the “Red Octobers” have yet to see an official release date, and now that West is headed to adidas, the demand for them will no doubt decrease.
Of the matter Kanye has said “The old me, without a daughter, would have taken the Nike deal because I just love Nikes so much. But the new me, with a daughter, takes the adidas deal because I have royalties and I have to provide for my family.”
However Kanye West’s well documented self confidence has done anything but falter, he goes on to say: “I am going to be the Tupac of product… I’ma be the first hip-hop designer, and because of that… I’ma be bigger than Walmart.”