Adidas ended its alliance with Kanye West after the rapper’s numerous antisemitic rants.
The company stopped selling West’s Yeezy shoes — but those that remain on shelves have become collectors’ items.
Impossible Kicks, a U.S. retailer with 17 stores across 11 states, said sales had soared since ties were cut in October 2022. A pair of Yeezy 350 Zebra shoes sells between $340 and $360. It was $260 four months ago, CEO John Mocadlo told the BBC.
Bald, a brand strategy and creative agency, took West’s comments seriously and created an ad that illustrates how words can unleash evil forces.
The agency used AI to turn a pile of Yeezy shoes into an image that evoked the pile of victims' shoes seen in many Holocaust museums today.
The Holocaust did not begin with genocide, Bald noted. It started with dangerous ideas and myths that have existed for hundreds of years and continue to this day.
The work runs on Bald’s social channels.
“The cultural conversation around Kanye and the commentary on social media was very close to our hearts. It's quite shocking when such a big cultural icon glorifies the Holocaust,” said Taryn Scher, creative director at Bald. “We have both clients and staff that are Jewish. It's always difficult to say something and easier just to brush it aside. But we did want to put our voice in the mix because as we've seen, it starts with words but it doesn't end there."
Scher adds that many people don’t want to give West more attention, but if Adidas wants to turn their old stock into a modern Holocaust memorial, we'd be happy to partner with them.”