Adidas Begins Selling Its Yeezy Stockpile and Will Donate a 'Significant Amount' of the Proceeds to Charity The company spent months deliberating what to do with the leftover shoes made in collaboration with Ye (formerly known as Kanye West).

By Madeline Garfinkle Originally published

Jonathan Leibson | Getty Images
Kanye West on June 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California.

In October, Adidas cut ties with rapper Ye — formerly known as Kanye West — following antisemitic remarks and unprofessional behavior. The partnership had spanned nine years.

Since the breakup, the German footwear brand has faced a slew of obstacles — from a lawsuit by Adidas investors accusing the company of failing to warn them about the rapper's "extreme behavior," to ongoing financial hits (Adidas said it expects to lose $1.3 billion this year). Now, on top of it all, the company is stuck with a monster stockpile of unsellable Yeezy shoes made in collaboration with the rapper.

During the annual shareholder meeting on May 11, Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden said the company spent months figuring out what to do with $500 million worth of Yeezy inventory, and a host of options were on the table — including literally burning them to dust.

However, the company decided that it will, after all, sell the shoes.

The first batch of the leftover Yeezy sneakers were officially launched on Wednesday, and will be available to purchase through the company's website and app.

Related: Kanye West Goes After Adidas in Series of Instagram Posts, Says It Stole Shoe Designs

"Ye is a difficult person, but he's arguably the most creative person in our industry," Gulden said on the May 11 call. "Unfortunately, we also know what he did, and I think it was the right thing for us to terminate the contract."

A "significant amount" of the proceeds will be donated to charities fighting discrimination such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change, the company said in a press release on May 19.

Related: Kanye West's Ugly Brand Breakups Expose Risks of Partnering With Public Figures. Don't Overlook These DEI Red Flags to Avoid The Same Fate.

Wavy Line
Madeline Garfinkle

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

Editor's Pick

A Father Decided to Change When He Was in Prison on His Son's Birthday. Now His Nonprofit Helps Formerly Incarcerated Applicants Land 6-Figure Jobs.
A Teen Turned His Roblox Side Hustle Into a Multimillion-Dollar Company — Now He's Working With Karlie Kloss and Elton John
3 Mundane Tasks You Should Automate to Save Your Brain for the Big Stuff
The Next Time Someone Intimidates You, Here's What You Should Do
5 Ways to Manage Your Mental Health and Regulate Your Nervous System for Sustainable Success

Related Topics

Business News

'Do You Hate Me?': High School Teacher Shares Wild Emails He Receives From Students

Jordan Baechler teaches high school students in Ontario, Canada.

Business News

Hedge Fund Pays NYC Interns $20,000 a Month on Average, Sent to Lavish Palm Beach Kickoff

Citadel is known for its over-the-top parties and company retreats.

Data & Recovery

This Father's Day, Give the Gift of No More Low Storage Warnings

Save 85% on 1TB of cloud storage for Father's Day.

Starting a Business

Starting a New Business? Here's How to Leverage Transferable Skills From Your Prior Careers and Drive Success

Launching your own business can be daunting, but when you harness the skills from past jobs, there are a variety of things you must ask yourself. Here are three recipes for success using your prior experiences.