Yeezy release dates for 2023 have been paused by adidas execs

It has been speculated that the drop has been paused due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

Even when Kanye West is out of the headlines, there’s still controversy around his name. Just hours after Ty Dolla $ign announced a “multi stadium listening event” for his reported joint album with Kanye West, a report by Complex revealed that adidas has now put a pause on its planned Yeezy release. 

The reports note that the pause will affect the leftover Yeezy stock the German sportswear brand planned to drop in November. An internal adidas memo that went out last week reportedly stated, “As a brand we will not do a new drop for the remainder of the year both for our internal e-com and retail as well as wholesale.” Adding, “We will not be shipping out any new stock, this direction was given at the board level.” The release was expected to feature the adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 in Bone, Onyx, and Zebra colorways along with select Yeezy 500 and 700 styles.

It is interesting to note, the memo does not refer to Yeezys by name, instead calling the release “Aurora 3”. Sources note that “Aurora” is a code name used by adidas to refer to Yeezy products, with “Aurora 1” and “Aurora 2” dropped in May and August.

Following the termination of its partnership with Ye in October 2022 due to his string of antisemitic remarks, adidas was left with over $1 billion worth of Yeezy stock. Executives at adidas deliberated the matter, ultimately deciding to release the products with a portion of proceeds going to “organisations working to combat discrimination and hate, including racism and antisemitism.”

It is not currently clear why the adidas executive board has decided to pause Yeezy releases but it could have something to do with the current political climate or backlash CEO Bjørn Gulden faced when he recently shared his thoughts on Ye.

Gulden said in a podcast interview in September that he didn’t think Ye “meant what he said” in his antisemitic remarks. Gulden walked back the comment, according to Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who said in a September post that Gulden apologised for his “misstatement.” After Gulden’s podcast appearance, adidas issued a statement reaffirming its decision to end Ye’s deal.

“Our decision to end our partnership with Ye because of his unacceptable comments and behaviour was absolutely the right one,” adidas said. “Our stance has not changed: Hate of any kind has no place in sports or society, and we remain committed to fighting it.”

WriterChris Saunders