Balenciaga is the latest among these fashion brands to sever ties with Kanye West

    Kanye West
    Ye, who is also known as Kanye West, is seen wearing a Balenciaga boxing mouthguard, outside Givenchy, during Paris Fashion Week.

    Edward Berthelot/GC Images

    • Balenciaga’s parent company Kering issued a statement confirming the end of its professional relationship with Kanye West.
    • In September, Ye’s lawyers sent a letter to Gap stating his plans to terminate his 10-year deal with the retail giant.
    • Sportswear giant Adidas says their partnership with Ye is under review following his controversial comments online.

    Balenciaga is the latest fashion brand to sever ties with rapper and fashion designer Kanye West, also known as Ye, after a string of controversial comments made by the artist online and during public appearances.

    On Thursday, Balenciaga’s parent company said in a statement that it no longer had a relationship with Ye.

    Although Ye opened the fashion house’s Paris Fashion Week runway show earlier this month, Balenciaga began distancing itself from the artist after several anti-Semitic and other offensive remarks he made recently. In his latest, during an appearance on the podcast Drink Champ, Ye asserted George Floyd died of fentanyl poisoning instead of excessive use of force by Minneapolis police in 2020.

    Ye operates his own clothing label, Yeezy, and told Bloomberg in a September phone interview that he was prepared to “go it alone” and end his partnerships with Gap and Adidas. 

    “No one should be held in that position where people can steal from them and say, ‘we’re just paying you to shut up’,” West said to Bloomberg.  

    “Now it’s time for Ye to make the new industry. No more companies standing in between me and the audience.”

    Balenciaga isn’t the first brand to face drama while collaborating with the rapper. Here’s a list of the labels that have had a professional relationship with Ye.

    Balenciaga (2021-2022)

    Kanye West walks on a muddy runway for the Balenciaga show in Paris, France
    Kanye West opened the Balenciaga show on a mud-caked runway in Paris, France, on October 2.


    Ye’s professional relationship with Balenciaga came about through his personal relationship with the brand’s creative director known as Demna. 

    In August 2021, Demna served as creative director for Ye’s “Donda” album listening event held in Atlanta. By January, a partnership between Ye, the Balenciaga creative director, and Gap was announced

    Following Ye’s recent comments, Balenciaga has quietly removed all mentions of the artist from its site – including its Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga line.

    On Thursday, Kering, the parent company of the French fashion house, responded to a query from Women’s Wear Daily about Balenciaga’s relationship with Ye. The brand issued the following statement.

    “Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist,” the statement read, according to WWD.

    Gap (2020-2022)

    Trash bags filled with Yeezy clothes at a New Jersey Gap store on August 17, 2022.

    Amanda Krause/Insider

    In 2020, Ye inked a 10-year deal with apparel giant Gap. The partnership made headlines in August for its viral trash bags – rather than tables – used to display clothes in Gap stores from the Yeezy x Gap collaboration.

    The world witnessed the once-popular collaboration deteriorate online as Ye voiced his grievances with Gap publicly. According to a September report from Insider’s Grace Kay, Ye’s lawyer sent the retailer a letter terminating the deal.

    Leading up to the letter, Ye criticized Gap on social media, alleging the company was taking credit for his designs and not allowing him to be a part of the creative process.

    The retailer is still able to sell current Yeezy Gap clothing, according to the letter, which was viewed by Insider.

    Adidas (2013-present)

    A person wears yellow
    Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 sneakers.

    Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

    Feet wearing red Yeezy Adidas foam runner shoes
    Adidas Yeezy Foam Runner shoes.

    Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

    Sportswear brand Adidas announced its partnership with the Yeezy brand in 2013 after Ye’s prior deal with rival shoe Nike went sour. In February 2015, the collaboration officially debuted with the release of Yeezy Boost 750 sneakers, according to Farfetch.

    The collaboration has continued to produce shoes as recently as this year, Farfetch reports. However, Ye’s deal with the company appears to hang in the balance in light of his recent comments.

    Earlier this month, Adidas said in a statement it was reviewing its relationship with Ye.

    “After repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation, we have taken the decision to place the partnership under review. We will continue to co-manage the current product during this period,” the company said in a statement, according to CNBC.

    On Thursday, the Anti-Defamation League penned a letter to Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted and Chair Thomas Rabe urging the company to sever ties with the artist in light of his anti- Semitic remarks.

    In September, he told Bloomberg it was time for him to “go it alone.”

    “It’s fine. I made the companies money. The companies made me money. We created ideas that will change apparel forever,” West told Bloomberg. 

    West called Adidas and Gap his “new baby mamas,” adding, “I guess we’re just going to have to co-parent those 350s,” referring to the Adidas’ Yeezy Boost 350 sneakers.

    Nike (2007-2013)

    A pair of Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red October X Kanye West valued at over AUD$30,000
    Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red October sneakers.

    Matt Jelonek/Getty Images

    Kanye West's Nike Air Yeezy 1 sneaker for sale with a price tag of USD$ 2 million
    Nike Air Yeezy 1 sneakers.

    Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    Before Ye’s collaboration with Adidas, the artist was set to be the first non-athlete to release a sneaker line with sportswear giant Nike.

    According to a 2013 report from Billboard, Ye left his deal with Nike over a royalties dispute. In a radio interview, he alleged that Nike refused to pay him royalties because he was “not a professional athlete.”

    “I took the Adidas deal because I have royalties and I have to provide for my family,” he said in the interview.

    After the deal went south in 2013, the rapper partnered up with the company’s competitor, but not before a limited amount of Air Yeezy sneakers were released to the public. 

    The Air Yeezy II went on to become known as one of the rarest pair of shoes in the sneaker world, according to Complex. In 2021, a pair of Air Yeezy Grammy Prototype shoes from 2008 sold for $1.8 million in a private sale, Newsweek reported.

    Read the original article on Business Insider

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