Updated Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022 at 5:35 p.m.
Kanye West’s mass bag fumble continued today, as he lost a the adidas deal that was responsible for his inclusion on Forbes’ billionaires list, and Gap announced it was immediately shutting down the sale of what was left of its YeezyGap inventory.
Gap said this afternoon it took the website for YeezyGap offline and was taking all remaining merchandise out of its stores as a result of West’s recent antics, which have included saying that George Floyd died of a fentanyl overdose, wearing a “white lives matter” shirt and defending it in subsequent interviews and making antisemitic remarks. Gap and the rapper, who now goes by Ye, broke off their brand partnership last month.
But Ye’s worst news came early this morning when adidas announced it was terminating its deal with Ye.
“adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness,” the Herzogenaurach, Germany-based company said in a statement released early Tuesday.
“After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. adidas will stop the adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.”
The adidas partnership should have the biggest impact on Ye’s pockets, not to mention the company’s. adidas warned investors in its statement that ending its deal with Ye likely means taking a hit of 250 million Euros, or about $246.5 million by current exchange rates, to its profits in the fiscal year 2022. Put another way, adidas now sees Kanye West, a man who once said “slavery was a choice” on national television, so toxic that it would rather lose a quarter-billion dollars than do business with him.
It’s safe to say it’s among the larger bags fumbled in the history of hip-hop. Forbes, which just two years ago added Ye to its billionaires list, removed him early Tuesday, saying that the value of the adidas was so great that losing it meant he no longer qualified.
Forbes said last week that adidas had paid Ye about $220 million in royalties from the Yeezy sneaker line. The magazine, which tracks the estimated net worth of celebs and entrepreneurs, estimated that Yeezy’s net worth had been as high as $2 billion, attributing $1.5 billion of that to the value of the adidas partnership. If that estimate is accurate, it would mean Ye may have lost three-quarters of his net worth in a single day.
adidas today dropped another hit about how much losing the Yeezy partnership might hurt the star: “adidas is the sole owner of all design rights to existing products as well as previous and new colorways under the partnership,” its statement said. That would mean adidas has the power to rebrand Yeezy products while preventing Ye from raking in any future royalties from sales of designs created under the brand.
It adds to the list of bad news for Ye in the last 24 hours, with the powerful talent agency CAA dropping him as a client Monday evening. His divorce lawyers and other partners in the fashion world including Balenciaga and Vogue ended their business relationships with Ye in recent days and Ye severed his own relationship with Gap earlier this month. His recording contract and G.O.O.D Music label deal with Def Jam Recordings have also ended, the New York Times reported, but it’s unclear if those were related to his recent comments.