Ye x BotNot
Hey, it’s your favorite in-house material girl with a bit of a different piece than we are used to writing. Still, listening to blood on the leaves and Yeezus, I wanted to talk about Kanye x Adidas (Ye, Yeezus was a spiritual experience for me).
Kanye — I support your decision to walk away from Adidas; as a creator, you must keep and care about where your product is going. I wouldn’t want my unreleased colorways or products being released. This brand is core to your ethos and your extension of you. I agree that capitalism is ruining the brand — from unauthorized colorways to mass production of unauthorized Yeezy. I want to make another point, as it is a bit of a hot take.
I think it is safe to say Yeezy is the most botted release and product within hype culture, and I will clarify that it is the highest reseller/bot-to-human ratio. TBH, botting Yeezy Supply is painfully easy. If you look at the detection, it rules base/deterministic, and it’s pretty easy to spoof (look in any cook groups for “Yeezy Guides”). As a creative, how do you feel that people are targeting your brand to believe, as you say, “venture capitalist whose only adventure is capitalism.”
Question for you — is it better to have unique clients that want to buy your products, or would you prefer a company like Adidas to have poor bot mitigation techniques? Why does this matter? Adidas is producing more shoes/colorways to meet the alleged demand. To keep the market hot, they are releasing unauthorized colors/products, which will enable resellers. So, yes, it impacts you as a creative more than you think.
We’ve all seen your deal terms for Adidas. To strengthen your $2B case, I would add that the site was an easy target for bots. I am no legal expert, but it’s similar to Elon’s case. How many of your actual customers were good vs. resellers/bots? If Adidas experienced high traffic/bot volume, why did they not do more to stop these arbitrageurs?
So when you plan to open a Yeezy independent store to allow your creativity to roam free, what will you do about the bad actors trying to make dollars out of your product instead of supporting your art? It ruins your quality control and the unboxing experience. As an artist and a creative, I know that the wow factor is an enormous appeal. Don’t let someone trying to hustle you ruin the experience. When you have your name associated with the product, people know you are just a target to make a quick dollar. I have nothing against human reselling, but if you want to talk about unauthorized dealers, I think you need to start looking at a way to quantify bot orders.
If you need help in your new endeavor from bot mitigation or a data solution perspective, here to support the GOAT. As for other celebrities with brands, know you also have a target on your back. Your name, in the eyes of the reseller, is 🤑. You could see this trend with Kylie Cosmetics’ Lip Kits In The early days. As a business, you should know who is arbitraging and what they are and decide if it is worth selling, especially if you are a celebrity brand trying to become profitable. We’re always here to support you — I cannot wait for the next chapter of Ye.