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Adidas sells another batch of Yeezy sneakers left over from breakup with Ye

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Shoe and sports clothing maker Adidas said Monday it had started a third sale of the Yeezy sneakers it was left with after severing ties with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West.

The company has accompanied the sales with donations to groups fighting antisemitism and other forms of hate.

Adidas broke up with Ye in October 2022 over his antisemitic and other offensive comments. It has sought a way to responsibly dispose of 1.2 billion euros worth of unsold shoes. The company said it plans to release the remaining Yeezy inventory in the course of this year.

The company said the latest release started Monday on digital platforms. The range available will be products from 2022 including what Adidas said were some of its most popular designs.

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Last year Adidas earned 750 million euros ($813 million) in revenue from two Yeezy releases, down from 1.2 billion euros in 2022.

The company spent months looking for a solution. Burning the shoes was ruled out, restitching them to hide the brand rejected as dishonest, and giving them away could have created a resale market. Instead it decided to sell them and donate part of the proceeds.

Adidas has made donations to the Anti-Defamation League and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change, run by social justice advocate Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd.

Shoes sold directly by Adidas in North America included blue square pins established by Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism as a symbol of solidarity in rejecting antisemitism.

The Associated Press