Adidas is doubling-down on the self-proclaimed "creative genius"
Since Kanye West joined forces with Adidas two years ago, every single product release has been an instant sellout.
Last month, the company announced that it had offered the Chicagoan rapper a deal to create new lines and footwear which it described as "the most significant partnership ever created between a non-athlete and an athletic brand."
The German company will release a new "Yeezy-branded entity creating footwear, apparel, and accessories for all genders across street and sport" called 'Adidas + Kanye West' which will have its own standalone stores.
The increased resources being afforded to the project is reflected on the Adidas careers website, where there are 18 vacancies in the Yeezy division.
These roles are at the company's main offices in Portland, Oregon - where its offices sit a stone-throw away from the Nike HQ.
"I ain't drop an album but the shoes went platinum," Mr. West raps on The Life of Pablo track 'Facts' which deals with his break-up with Nike - who he designed a number of hit shoes for. He publicly criticised the company for not offering him more resources and greater creative freedom. The release of his seventh studio album as delayed due to the hands-on work that he was doing with his Adidas line.
In 2015 journalist Mattew Shaer wrote a feature piece on the escalating battle between Adidas and Nike for GQ - he recalls Paul Gaudio, Adidas's global design director showing him Kanye's first shoe for the company ahead of its launch:
"On the table before us is a pair of Yeezy 750s. The shoe, he suggests, with its $350 price tag and limited-edition cache, isn't so different in function from, say, an $845K Porsche 918 Spyder—an all-but-unobtainable product that lifts the profile of the brand as a whole.There's a halo that comes off it,” he tells me, picking up one of the shoes, “and you hope it casts light on everything else you do. It's a statement piece, right? You pull some of what's so interesting about it into the broader offerings.”
"There's a halo that comes off it,” he tells me, picking up one of the shoes, “and you hope it casts light on everything else you do. It's a statement piece, right? You pull some of what's so interesting about it into the broader offerings."