In the scorching August heat, the innovative behemoth, adidas, re-emerges with an announcement that sends shockwaves through the realm of sneakers – the release of Yeezy products, carrying a legacy both illustrious and controversial.
With the break of dawn on August 2nd, sneakerheads and digital mavens alike are poised to swarm adidas’ online avenues and a select consortium of digital retail platforms for the next drop of Yeezy products. The availability of these much-anticipated releases, however, will play out in stages and oscillate in accordance with geographic determinants.
Echoing the product release of May 2023, this next wave will also showcase pieces that first saw the light of day in 2022. Sneaker enthusiasts can expect to see crowd favorites like the YEEZY BOOST 350 V2, 500, 700, as well as the YEEZY SLIDE and FOAM RNR.
The genesis of the Yeezy range can be traced back to adidas’ fruitful yet tumultuous liaison with Kanye West. The partnership, however, was abruptly severed in October 2022, amidst a storm of unsettling comments and behaviors from West, pushing the boundaries of antisemitism and social propriety. The products scheduled for release in August are a residual echo of this era.
Following the dissolution of its alliance with West, adidas found itself holding the reins of an estimated 1.2 billion euros worth of Yeezy merchandise, triggering a head-scratching dilemma. How should the sportswear colossus handle this vast repository of products, born from an association now severed?
Amid a plethora of possibilities – annihilating, recycling, or bestowing the products – adidas chose a path that would transform controversy into a powerful societal statement. The decision to sell the Yeezy range and contribute a portion of the proceeds to organizations waging war against hatred, racism, and antisemitism was met with both surprise and acclaim.
Proceeds from the Yeezy sales slated for August will funnel into a medley of US initiatives that are tirelessly tackling racism and antisemitism. These include the Anti-Defamation League, the Philonise and Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change, and the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism.
adidas will also use its platform to shed light on the crucial work undertaken by these organizations. In a symbolic move, select Yeezy merchandise will carry blue pins – a token from the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, symbolizing an ongoing struggle against anti-Jewish prejudice. Amidst this transformation, Kanye West, despite his disassociation, will also receive a share from the sale proceeds.