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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

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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.

Madeline Garfinkle

News Writer

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

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