Kanye West is a man of many talents. And while we can all laugh and be judgmental about his Instagram meltdowns, there is no denying that his craft is absolutely no joke. Just a couple of years back, Kanye West, now Ye, was in a debt of more than half a million, but the man was not crumbling. When Ye said he always counted on God, because “He’s done miracles on me” in No Child Left Behind, he was not kidding.
How the rapper managed to lay down the foundations of an iconic deal in hours on air is not short of a miracle. Kanye West, who is now on an Instagram rampage about how Adidas and Gap are stealing his designs, started off this journey with a debt of $53M.
How Kanye West brought Nike Air Yeezy to life in mid-air
It all started in 2007 when Kanye West was on a flight with the CEO of Nike, Mark Parker. Ye trusted himself and pulled out his sketchpad then and there and started making shoe designs without knowing where he was going with this. By the end of the flight, West had convinced Parker to let him design shoes. And soon after, the CEO arranged a meeting with the rapper and the designer behind the Air Jordans Tinker Hatfield. That is how the iconic Nike Air Yeezys came into being.
While the shoes were a hit, Kanye wanted royalty and Nike was not budging. Furthermore, the rapper said that his shoes were the only ones to leave the same impact as Air Jordans and that he should be treated like an athlete. He was famously quoted saying, “I go to the Garden and play one-on-NO-ONE. I’m a performance athlete” at the Hot 97’s The Angie Martinez Show.
This drift lead him to break with Nike in 2013 and join Adidas. At Adidas, Kanye now holds 15% on wholesale royalties. Additionally, he has 100% ownership of the Yeezy brand and the yearly marketing fee. However, the rapper says he won’t be renewing the deal with Adidas after 2026, and similarly with Gap. West accused both companies of copying his designs. In the near future, he said he would conquer the apparel industry on his own.
Do you think Kanye West will walk away from his partnership with Gap and Adidas? Let us know in the comments below.