Adidas Kanye West’s Yeezy Shoes ‘Collectibles’

March 8, 2023

Updated 10 minutes ago

image source, Getty Images


US retailer Impossible Kicks said people saw the Yeezy trainer as a “collectible” and sales were up 30%

Shoppers in the United States are snapping up Kanye West’s Yeezy shoes as collectibles since Adidas ended its partnership with the rapper, a US shoe chain has said.

Impossible Kicks said sales had risen by 30% since the sportswear giant parted ways with Mr West over anti-Semitic comments he made last year.

Adidas has said it is uncertain what to do with the £1bn worth of shoes.

But Impossible Kicks CEO John Mocadlo said buyers had not been put off.

The US retailer, which has 17 stores in 11 states, said sales had surged since relations soured and ties were cut last October.

A pair of Yeezy 350 “Zebra” shoes retail for between $340 and $360, (£285-£302), compared with around $260 four months ago, according to Mr Mocadlo.

“People are targeting the product as a collector’s item now. When they come into a store, they don’t even know he’s associated with the product,” Mr Mocadlo told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Adidas said it was considering selling the footwear and donating the proceeds to charity and had ruled out other options, such as burning them.

The company said it was also complicated to give the shoes away for free, especially as their resale value had increased.

But Mr Mocadlo said the company had “a lot of soul-searching to do”.

“The product they’re sitting on has value. There’s a lot of retailers that would be very interested in getting them because there’s still a lot of people who still want the product,” he said.

And the dealer didn’t think there was a conflict in selling the items: “We stand against everything he (West) says, we’re just selling it because it’s a collector’s item and there’s very limited supply at this point.”

image source, Getty Images

Adidas ended its relationship with West, who goes by the name Ye, when the artist posted anti-Semitic tweets after showing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt design at Paris Fashion Week in October.

The sportswear brand said at the time that it “would not tolerate anti-Semitism and any other form of hate speech”.

The company said the split cost the firm 534 million. GBP (€600m) in the final three months of 2022 and warned that investors’ profits could be hit by at least €444m. GBP (€500m) in the financial year 2023.

Adidas boss Bjørn Gulden said: “We shouldn’t make a decision just to please someone. We should make a decision when the consequences of that decision are the most positive we can make.”

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