Adidas has announced that it will release a second batch of high-end Yeezy sneakers, following its decision to cut ties with rapper Kanye West, formerly known as Ye. The German sportswear brand is seeking to unload unsold shoes while also donating to groups fighting antisemitism. The online sale will take place on Wednesday through Adidas smartphone apps and its website, and will include models such as the Yeezy Boost 350 V2, 500, and 700, as well as the Yeezy Slide and Foam RNR.
Adidas terminated its partnership with Kanye West in October due to his antisemitic and offensive remarks made online and in interviews. This left the company with unsold Yeezys worth 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion), prompting a search for a responsible way to dispose of them. Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden stated in May that selling the sneakers and donating a portion of the profits was the best solution. The company consulted with nongovernmental organizations and groups affected by West's comments and actions.
Part of the proceeds from the Yeezy shoe sales will be donated to the Anti-Defamation League and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change, run by Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd and a social justice advocate. In North America, shoes sold directly by Adidas will include blue square pins provided by Robert Kraft's Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism as a symbol of solidarity against antisemitism.
Adidas did not disclose the specific number of shoes that will be released or the exact amount that will be donated. When asked about royalties for Kanye West, the company stated that it would honor its contractual obligations without providing further details.
The first sale of Yeezy shoes reportedly helped improve Adidas' preliminary second-quarter financial results, leading to an adjustment in its outlook for the year. The company now expects a mid-single digit decline in revenue, compared to the previous estimate of a high single-digit decline. Despite this improvement, Adidas still anticipates an operating loss of 450 million euros ($494 million) for the year. The company believes that future Yeezy sales will further contribute to its results.