Adidas says it is reviewing its Yeezy partnership with Kanye West days after he showed a “White Lives Matter” t-shirt design at Paris Fashion Week.
The company did not mention the controversy but said “successful partnerships are rooted in mutual respect and shared values”.
The rapper and fashion designer responded on Instagram, claiming the firm “stole” his designs, reports the BBC.
That post now appears to have been deleted.
Adidas told the BBC it had made the decision to put the partnership under review after “repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation.”
A spokesperson for the German sportswear company also said that the “Adidas Yeezy partnership is one of the most successful collaborations in our industry’s history.”
In his Instagram post, West also used a strong expletive, adding “I AM ADIDAS.”
Earlier this week, he was criticised after he presented a collection at Paris Fashion Week that included t-shirts with the slogan “White Lives Matter”.
The phrase Black Lives Matter, which represents opposition to racism and police brutality, was widely used after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis in the summer of 2020.
The almost decade-long partnership between Adidas and West has been strained for some time.
At the centre of their collaboration is a hugely popular range of sneakers – known as Yeezy – which cost hundreds of dollars, with new releases often selling out within minutes.
In June, he accused Adidas of making a shoe that looked similar to the distinctive Yeezy design, but was not part of their deal.
Adidas said it will continue to co-manage the partnership while the review is underway.
The announcement from Adidas comes less than a month after West’s lawyers sent a letter to fashion chain Gap to say he would no longer work with the firm.
He accused the company of failing to honour terms of the deal, including by failing to open standalone stores for his Yeezy fashion label.