One of Kanye’s many complaints is that both adidas and GAP have kept him out of the loop. He seems to have requested to be added to their boards without success. Moreover, Ye has explained that he regularly was excluded from meetings, which he did complain about – only to be shrugged off by management.
Both adidas and GAP are brands that create streetwear products. Ye and his brand Yeezy were the perfect partners: They gave both corporations newfound credibility in street culture, access to a new group of customers, and, arguably most important, ideas.
Kanye was always known for his love for fashion, and when he first created Yeezy, it kick-started a whole movement of Kanye-fied streetwear. Albeit mainstream, Yeezy was and is hugely celebrated – and thus made new things possible for its long-term partner, adidas.
Yeezy x adidas was always a lucrative deal, but over the years – with the rising popularity of Yeezy – it got even bigger. By 2019, sales for Yeezy’s Adidas sneakers generated $1.3 billion in annual revenue.
Kanye knows his sh*t, but both brands don’t seem to actually believe that. If they did, they would’ve cared more about including him on his own project. Taking all of his ideas, his brand, and even his personality – because Yeezy is and always was still mostly about Kanye – was what allowed them to make all of that money in the first place. Not including Kanye in the business of things speaks of sheer disrespect – or at least, not enough appreciation.
When working with people from the culture, it’s important to actually value them as, well, people. Value, what they have to say, and their unique perspective of things. Not doing that will make you look like you don’t actually care about culture. And that will drive people away from your brand.