By now, we’re sure you’ve heard the news that Adidas axed Kanye West’s deal and, in some desperate attempt to save Yeezys, the rapper ran to Skechers of all places, who politely told him to scram.
Despite the abrupt and unannounced nature of West’s arrival to Skechers HQ, one might wonder why exactly he’d go from a footwear behemoth like Adidas to the considerably smaller, but still impressive, shoe empire of Skechers. We may never know, but keen-eyed internet sleuths have discovered that the brand might have chosen its side long before West’s recent comments.
You’ll need to cast your mind back to a simpler time — 2011. Long before she was the face of many high-end brands, most recently Balenciaga, Kim Kardashian, West’s ex-wife, was the face of Skechers, specifically its ShapeUp line, with a memorable ad that played during that year’s Superbowl.
This is some incredible archival footage if we’ve ever seen it, and pseudo-detectives online were quick to notice the connection.
While the advertisements for this line of shoes are objectively hilarious, though dated, the line of shoes didn’t come without controversy of their own. In 2013, the footwear company was ordered to pay upwards of $40 million USD in a class-action lawsuit after they claimed the Shape-Ups “would help people lose weight, and strengthen and tone their buttocks, legs and abdominal muscles.”
Spoiler alert: they did not.
While Skechers doesn’t produce Shape-Ups anymore (RIP) it doesn’t look like they’ll be home to Yeezys anytime in the near future, either.
In fact, Skechers is currently owned and operated by founder and CEO Robert Greenberg and his son and company president Michael Greenberg — both of whom are Jewish — so it was highly unlikely they’d all of a sudden align themselves with someone sharing such blatantly antisemitic views, anyway.