Adidas has announced that it will be releasing a second batch of high-end Yeezy sneakers after cutting ties with rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. The German sportswear brand is seeking to unload the unsold shoes while also donating to groups fighting antisemitism.
The online sale is set to start on Wednesday through Adidas smartphone apps and its website. This follows an earlier set of sales in May, which proved to be successful for the company. The models that will be available in this second release include the Yeezy Boost 350 V2, 500, and 700, as well as the Yeezy Slide and Foam RNR.
Adidas made the decision to sever ties with Ye in October after he made antisemitic and other offensive remarks online and in interviews. This left the company with 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) worth of unsold Yeezys and the challenge of finding a responsible way to dispose of them.
Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden stated in May that selling the popular sneakers and donating some of the profits was the best solution to deal with the unsold inventory and make a difference. The company engaged with nongovernmental organizations and groups that were harmed by Ye’s comments and actions to ensure that the donations would have a positive impact.
Part of the profits from the sales of the Yeezy shoes will go to the Anti-Defamation League and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change, which is run by social justice advocate Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd. In a show of solidarity against antisemitism, shoes sold directly by Adidas in North America will include blue square pins established by Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism.
The Anti-Defamation League has praised the sale as a thoughtful and caring resolution for the unsold merchandise. They believe that any attempt to turn the consequences of Ye’s actions into something that ultimately benefits society and the people he has hurt is most welcome.
Adidas has not provided specific details on the number of shoes that will be released for sale or the exact amount of proceeds that will be donated. When asked if Ye would receive royalties from the sales, the company stated that they would honor their contractual obligations and enforce their rights, but would not share any further details.
The first sale of Yeezy shoes earlier this year had a positive impact on Adidas’ financial results. The company raised its outlook for the year, changing its expected decline in revenue from high single digits to mid-single digits. While there will still be an operating loss, it is expected to be lower than initially projected.
Adidas will be reporting its earnings for the first half of the year on Thursday and anticipates that future Yeezy sales will further boost its results. The release of the second batch of Yeezy sneakers is highly anticipated by fans and sneaker enthusiasts alike.