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Kanye West has been defended by adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden amid the apparel giant severing ties from the embattled rap mogul last year.
Gulden raved about Ye’s creativity in a recent interview and admitted while the company ultimately decided to split from West, he doesn’t believe “he’s a bad person” following his antisemitic commentary.
“I think Kanye West is one of the most creative people in the world. And both in music and what I call street culture. So he’s extremely creative and has together with Adi created a Yeezy line that was very successful.
“And then as creative people he did some statements which wasn’t that good. And that caused Adi to break the contract and withdraw the product. Very unfortunate because I don’t think he meant what he said and I don’t think he’s a bad person it just came across that way.
“That meant we lost that business. One of the most successful collabs in history — very said. But again, when you work with third parties that can happen. It’s part of the game. That can happen with an athlete, that can happen with an entertainer. It’s part of the business.”
New Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden about Ye :
“Kanye West is one of the most creative people in the world. I don’t think he’s a bad person, it just came across that way.” pic.twitter.com/8k1JvHkyJl
— Donda Times (@dondatimes) September 19, 2023
Gulden came on board as the adidas CEO in November 2022 following the company’s split from Ye but he has been supportive of Yeezy in the past.
While the line has been shelved, adidas’ bottom line has cratered and the apparel giant decided to sell off existing models of the Yeezy brand to boost profits.According to SGB Media, the German sports giant’s recent sell-off of the now-discontinued Yeezys gave the brand a boost by 85 percent.
Despite this sounding like an impressive number, adidas still posted a loss for the second quarter, with more than $491 million in losses for the brand. However, Yeezy sales (which have jumped up due to huge demand for the product) saved adidas from a much larger initial loss of $764 million.
“We are happy with the way the second quarter developed,” said adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden in a statement. “The core adidas business was slightly better than we expected. […] The sale of the first part of the Yeezy inventory did of course help both our top and bottom line in the quarter.”
Despite Kanye West’s myriad of issues, Yeezys are still a huge moneymaker for the “Stronger” rapper.
In June, Ye reportedly pocketed $25 million from adidas in royalties in just 24 hours after leftover Yeezy stock from the pair’s dysfunctional partnership flew off the shelves.