Not a day goes by without a new brand x celebrity collaboration, and some are them are so unlikely that we've often wondered what the conversations between the brand and the celeb look like. Well, now we've had a glimpse courtesy of Kanye West.
Big brands are generally used to their celebrity partners towing the line or at least not airing grievances about their collaborations in public. But it seems they hadn't counted on Ye. The rapper and entrepreneur has shared screenshots of some of his frustrated conversations with Adidas abut a proposed collaboration that comes amid an ongoing feud (if you're looking for design inspiration of your own, see our piece on the most famous graphic designers).
If you've not been following the saga of Kanye West's feud with Adidas, here's a quick recap. Way back in June, Ye (opens in new tab), whose clothing brand Yeezy has a longstanding relationship with Adidas, aired his discontent about the design of the sportswear company's new Adilette 22 sandal, which he described as a "a fake Yeezy made by Adidas themselves". After that, he tore into the brand for not getting his approval for its YEEZY Day event, which saw the reissue of Adidas Yeezy shoes.
Earlier this month, Ye declared that he'd be abandoning both Adidas and GAP to go it alone when his current contracts expire (we wonder if that's what Kanye West's new logos are all about), so there would be "no more companies standing in between me and the audience.” His criticisms have focused more on GAP in recent posts, but now Ye's given us an insight into this.. erm.. negotiations with Adidas, sharing screenshots of conversations with Torben Schumacher, SVP and global general manager for Adidas Originals basketball and partnerships.
Ye appears to be exploring the possibility of using Adidas as a non-exclusive manufacturing and distribution partner, for which he's offering the company 20 per cent of net profits from sales. But he doesn't seem happy at having to speak to Schumacher. "What time will you be sending back Adidas comments?" he asks in a message apparently sent at 4.50am. He goes on to state his offer, before writing in the final message: "Adidas, I'm not speaking with Torben again. I'm the king. I only speak to the decision makers."
What's perhaps most enlightening is to see that Kanye actually engages in business negotiations himself. We'd kind of always assumed that Yeezy had staff to do that. Lawyers and things. But the messages suggest that Ye deals with the business side of things himself – and expects the top dog at his partners to do the same rather than send him a mere SVP.
Ye's spat with Adidas is far from being his only design-related run in. See our roundup of all of Kanye West's biggest design controversies for more. In other fashion news, we recently saw Gucci lose a legal battle against clothing company that trolled its logo.