Kanye West Goes After Adidas in Series of Instagram Posts, Says It Stole Shoe Designs The rapper is still posting on Instagram about various Adidas executives.

By Gabrielle Bienasz

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

For the past few days, Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, has been railing against collaborator Adidas in a series of Instagram posts — some of which have apparently been flagged by the social media company.

West and Adidas released their first shoe together in 2015, and the pair inked a more extensive partnership in 2016. The Yeezy/Adidas sneakers can cost hundreds of dollars and have often sold out within minutes. The artist promotes the shoes to his millions of followers on various Instagram accounts.

Despite the partnership's success, it appears the Adidas relationship could fray amid a barrage of social media posts from the rapper. He alleges the company stole his designs in at least one post.

"It's going to cost you billions to keep me It's going to cost you billions to let me go adidas You stole my f-- designs amongst other things I'll give you to Tuesday I'm not waiting 7 months to leave like the breach letter," he wrote in a post.

In June, West attacked Adidas for creating a shoe that looks similar to products he has released with Yeezy, but that was not part of their deal, per Complex. West specifically named outgoing Adidas CEO Kasper Rørsted in those posts. The sportswear company did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the rapper's claims.

This week, West posted a series of pictures of members of Adidas's supervisory board, singling out Adidas senior vice president and general manager Daniel Cherry in multiple posts. West also re-posted pictures of the board with captions like "Love and blessings Should be noooo reason to take this off my page," and "All love here."

West also posted screenshots of what appeared to be messages from Instagram notifying him that his posts had been flagged, but many of the posts seemed to be still on his profile as of Tuesday morning. The social media company did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

As a result of West's claims, there appears to be a fan-based effort to buy shoes "approved" by the rapper.

In its most recent earnings, Adidas posted a 28% dip in operating profit in Q2, mostly due to coronavirus-related production shutdowns in China and Vietnam, per Reuters.

Adidas is not the only brand West has called out in his Instagram posts. He also mentioned Gap, which signed a 10-year deal with West in 2020, per the New York Times. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that West took aim at Gap in since-deleted Instagram posts claiming the retailer promised to build Yeezy-branded stores and has not fulfilled its promise. He also threatened to walk away from the partnership.

Early Tuesday, West posted what appeared to be a screenshot of an email from someone conveying a message from "your legal team" recommending that "we" not post about Gap for 10 days.

Based on his posts, it appears West feels he needs more creative control over his Yeezy-branded products.

"I need a shoe company," he posted. "What shoe company will give me control."

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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