Love him or hate him, Kanye West is undeniably one of the most influential forces in the fashion industry today. His "The Life of Pablo" merch and Yeezy sneakers for Adidas are among the most in-demand apparel and footwear on the planet (with a booming resale market dedicated to both), and with the demand far exceeding the supply, hype has reached a fever pitch.
Since the insane popularity of West's designs has only benefited Adidas, the German sportswear company announced Wednesday that it's entered into an official long-term partnership with the artist — dubbed Adidas + Kanye West — to expand the Yeezy line for men and women. Two years after the debut of West's first Yeezy collection, Adidas claims that this new union will bring together its "technical, innovative expertise and capabilities" with West's creative vision, and will ultimately "redefine the future."
To help West execute his ideas, Adidas will hire a dedicated team for the development and creation of all Yeezy products, as well as open a number of retail stores to serve as distinct "hubs" for Yeezy goods. In addition, Adidas and West will introduce new pieces with a focus on sport and performance, expanding from the lifestyle and street-inspired items that are currently on offer.
A release from the company calls the deal "the most significant partnership ever created between a non-athlete and an athletic brand," putting West in the same category as greats like Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, who have all put out signature shoes and gear for sportswear companies — with significant monetary contracts attached to them. West raps on "TLOP" that Nike paid James a billion dollars to stay signed on... a figure we're sure the artist eventually hopes to achieve for himself.
Adidas notes that it's planning to reveal the next chapter of its collaboration with West in the weeks ahead, so watch this space.