A new report from Rolling Stone has made claims surrounding employee treatment at Yeezy, with ex-workers alleging a “cult-like atmosphere” at the brand’s office.
“Nothing has ever compared to the amount of chaos, the amount of stress and [the amount of] anxiety you go through working for Yeezy,” a senior staffer said in the report.
Another detailed how Kanye allegedly liked to play his own music in the office, but in 2015 a staffer suggested they play something else, to which Kanye reportedly asked for suggestions from staff.
The staff member in question told Rolling Stone: “I thought, ‘Oh, he’s a rapper, I should probably mention some rap’,” adding: “Big mistake — the next day I was fired.”
Elsewhere in the report, a staffer was also allegedly fired for wearing a yellow jumper to the office, and told: “Dress for the palette or you dress in black.”
One former employee said: “Everyone’s always on the verge of losing their job, so the dynamics are total chaos. He doesn’t necessarily have people that he can trust around him.”
Another added: “The biggest issue is that he doesn’t appear to have high-level operational people that he trusts. Without the operational backbone, no company can really exist for a super long time. You can’t build a multi-billion-dollar brand without an operations director who stays in the job for more than six months. … He needs professionals that don’t give a shit that he’s Kanye West.”
Rolling Stone were unable to contact Kanye West for the piece.
Kanye West at an Adidas/Yeezy event in 2016. Credit: Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images
Elsewhere, Adidas has revealed it intends to sell Yeezy products without West’s branding. West partnered with Adidas under the Yeezy banner in late 2013, with their first collection debuting in 2015. Under the terms of their agreement, it was stipulated that West would retain 100 per cent ownership of Yeezy, with full creative control over products released through the brand.
Last month, after West sparked controversy by wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt during his Yeezy season nine show at Paris Fashion Week, Adidas said it had placed their partnership with the rapper “under review”. West responded in a since-deleted Instagram post, writing: “FUUUUUUCK ADIDAS I AM ADIDAS.”
On October 25, after West publicly made a string of antisemitic comments, Adidas officially terminated their partnership with the rapper, calling his inflammatory statements “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous” in a statement.
Adidas is one of several companies to end their association with West due to his antisemitic remarks in recent weeks. Balenciaga – who West walked the runway for at last month’s Paris Fashion Week – have also cut ties with the rapper. JPMorgan Chase decided to “end its banking relationship” with West, and he was also reportedly dropped by his lawyer and talent agency.
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