Kanye West’s Split with Adidas Leads to Layoffs at Georgia Shoe Company

Kanye West's Split with Adidas Leads to Layoffs at Georgia Shoe Company

The Georgia-based shoe company and Adidas partner Okabashi Brands announced Friday that it has laid off 142 workers after production of the Yeezy shoes ceased.

In light of West’s anti-Semitic remarks and media appearances on social media, Adidas cut ties with Yeezy founder Ye, formerly an artist Kanye West. As a result, sales and production of Yeezy shoes have ceased, as has payments to Ye and his company.

“Adidas clearly has no tolerance for hate speech, and Okahashi represents these values. Unfortunately, this means that Okahashi has had to discontinue the products currently being made for Adidas. As of now, there are not enough orders to keep all employees busy,” he said. Okabashi said in a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Laid-off workers make up two-thirds of Okabashi’s workforce. The company’s Georgia factory has been a co-manufacturer of the Adidas Yeezy Foam Runner shoe since April 2020.

Those laid off will receive expanded health care coverage and severance pay. The factory, which opened in 1984, still has 58 workers and is one of 1 percent of U.S. shoe makers, according to the footwear news site.


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