Last week, Adidas officially announced that it would sell off the remaining Yeezys it had in stock. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Glossy Podcast for interviews with fashion industry leaders and Week in Review episodes, and the Glossy Beauty Podcast for interviews from the beauty industry. And you can click here to receive the Weekend Briefing in your inbox every Sunday. –Danny Parisi, sr. fashion reporter
Adidas finally has an answer to its Yeezy problem
Earlier this month, I wrote a story laying out the potential paths Adidas could take to deal with its $1.2 billion worth of Yeezy sneakers. Since Adidas ended its partnership with Kanye West in October, the sneakers have been gathering dust as Adidas has weighed what to do with them.
On Thursday, Adidas announced that it will sell the shoes itself, going with the first of the three options I speculated that it may take. Other options included offloading them to some third party or destroying the product. A portion of the proceeds will go to charity.
Notably, this decision means that West will benefit from the sales in the form of royalties, although the exact split between Adidas’s and West’s profits from Yeezy sales is unclear. Adidas does own the rights to all the designs of Yeezy sneakers, which it has previously signaled it may rebrand and sell without the Yeezy name attached.
But Adidas’s Yeezy problem still isn’t completely over. At the shareholder meeting on Thursday where Adidas announced its plans for the stock, it also addressed a class action lawsuit from investors that alleged the brand knew about West’s most problematic behavior — including allegedly harassing female employees and showing employees pornography — but failed to act on that knowledge.
At the meeting, Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden said an investigation conducted internally by Adidas found no merit to the claims that West had harassed employees or that Adidas knew about any such behavior before October of last year when the partnership was ended. Several of the allegations were first reported in Rolling Stone in November of last year.
Adidas is surely looking forward to putting the Yeezy saga behind it, especially with other big collaborations coming up. The much-anticipated Fear of God x Adidas sneaker is set to be released in the second half of this year.
West, for his part, has been quiet on much of these matters for the last few months. Most recently, he claimed on Instagram that watching the film “21 Jump Street” cured him of his anti-Semitism. He also opened a new Yeezy office in Los Angeles two storefronts over from an Adidas store.
Glossy’s been diving deep on luxury
If you missed it, we published the second of our new luxury briefings, offering deep dives on topics in the luxury sector along with original data and research we commissioned from Saks. The latest iteration explores the massive growth of the luxury watch market, particularly from new customers like young people, women and buyers in markets including Latin America and India. It’s full of insights from watch experts and industry insiders from places like Hodinkee, Bezel and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Even in the few days since the report went live, there’s been more movement in the watch space. Rolex finally rolled out its first certified pre-owned program in the U.S. after announcing the program last year and testing it in Europe at the beginning of 2023. As of Wednesday, you can now officially go into Tourneau/Bucheron and buy yourself a certified pre-owned Rolex — as long as it’s more than three years old and you can afford it. Of course, you could also just buy one from some guy on Reddit.
In other news, Audemars Piguet is preparing to feature its signature octagonal bezel from its popular Royal Oak watches in “digital products,” according to a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Meanwhile, an ultra-rare Patek Philippe watch is going on sale at Sotheby’s starting at $4.5 million and Parmigiani Fleurier announced it had tripled its sales in the last six months.
There’s a lot of movement happening in this space as new customers discover high-end watches and the brands open up to a wider audience. Glossy has ramped up its coverage of the luxury watch industry in the last few months, and I’m planning more stories on this market in the near future.