Forget Keeping Up with the Kardashians — keeping up with Ye is a full-time job. The artist formerly known as Kanye West has a knack for staying in the headlines, from meming chapeau-coiffed adidas senior vice president Daniel Cherry III into the next SZN or shooting for a lofty long-term goal like reimagining education at DONDA Academy.
Ye is an enigma, and it can be hard to tell what’s permanent and what’s transient in his world. In recent weeks, however, he’s aired gripes with both adidas and GAP that seem to be anything but ephemeral. He’s spoken at length about his dissatisfaction with both brands, and his YEEZY label is embroiled in a legal fracas with GAP, leading fans to wonder if these battles will have long-term effects on the YEEZY brand and Ye’s creative endeavors as a whole. Below is a primer on what already happened, what’s happening now and what might go down in the future.
The Unfolding of Allegations, Explained
Ye has been expressing his bitterness towards adidas since June, beginning with a gripe about the adilette 22 sandal before expanding his complaints to the brand “not getting his approval” for YEEZY Day and even publicly stating that he’d been offered a billion-dollar buyout. Then, on September 5, Ye said in an Instagram story that he’d “settled” with adidas and that GAP was “next.” A few days before that story was posted, Ye began publicly slamming GAP, alleging that they’d stolen his designs and saying that he planned to open his own standalone YEEZY stores.
On September 12, Ye upped the ante by announcing he’d be leaving both adidas and GAP when his contract with each company expired. “It’s time for me to go it alone,” Ye told Bloomberg on September 12. “We created ideas that will change apparel forever … now it’s time for Ye to make the new industry. No more companies standing in between me and the audience.”
This new stance was a stark about-face from a man who, in earlier years had expressed his need to work with brands like adidas and GAP because they had the means of production he so desperately craved to fulfill his fashion visions. Then, things got even more intense on September 15, when the famously impatient Ye announced that the partnership with GAP had been terminated, effective immediately. “GAP left Ye…