Yeezy, the apparel and footwear brand launched by rapper Kanye West in partnership with Adidas, is expected to generate 1.3 billion US dollars in sales by the end of this year, according to a New York Times report. An unnamed source said West earns 5 percent royalties on net sales of the products, which means he would be earning 65 million US dollars at the end of 2019.
The impressive revenue is due to an increase in the number of products released each year. At first, Yeezy released two to three collections a year, but in 2018 Adidas expanded the assortment by offering some products in more colorways. The popularity of Yeezy’s products in the resale market, where a pair of sneakers is often sold for four times the original price has also helped to boost sales.
New York Times’ article drove attention to the discrepancy between the number of black employees Adidas has and its recent collaborations with black superstars. In addition to West, Adidas has recently teamed up with Beyoncé. Fewer than 75 of the nearly 1,700 Adidas employees in Adidas’ headquarters in Portland, Oregon, identify as black, according to the internal employment figures from last summer. Nearly 78 percent of the employees are white. A spokesperson for Adidas did not dispute these figures when speaking to the NYT.