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Drake has been sending mixed signals this last week, switching between being seen in the two powerhouse sportswear brands: Nike and Adidas. We can all say this looks like Drake is adding fuel to the fire; having his fun whilst negotiations are taking place after being reportedly confirmed to be closing the deal with Adidas, by ESPN writer Nick DePaula.

Drakes Instagram with over 41.2 million followers has not seen the iconic swoosh on the rapper since February, filming the music video for Gods Plan where he sported 4 different Nike designs. One including the Off-White x Nike Air Jordan 1 White’s which had not yet dropped, saw him notably as a key influencer to generate further hype before the release. Whereas, his latest posts boast the trefoil Adidas logo with the iconic three stripes seen, concluding for his fans that Adidas is his new loyalty. Looking at why Drake is being warmly welcomed and why he is leaving is an interesting question to ask.  Joining Adidas the ‘nice for what’ artist, who performed the release of this song in YEEZYs, may be able to unleash his creative personality, as his OVO label (who were collaborating with the Jordan brand), is said to have been suppressed and limited during the time of their relationship. The question is, will a new line be created for aspiring designer Drake with Adidas or simply another backseat collaborative opportunity?

Drakes history with Nike Jordan started in 2013. During his time there, there were well-received collaborations OVO put its name towards; the most recent and successful was the OVO x Air Jordan 8. Jordan, in previous years, has seen a decrease in popularity and some releases were not well received. Beneath the wings of Nike it has held its place at the top of the leader boards; but in previous years Adidas is rivalling its competitors. Since 2015 Nike’s Jordan brand was rivalled and finally had a worthy competitor when YEEZY was launched. Adidas’ most recent collections have gained more popularity in comparison to Drakes current Jordan brand. Adidas seized the resell opportunity whilst Jordan’s got left behind in the whirlwind of the hype, pissing off the collectors.

Kanye seems to have a dominance over Adidas, he, himself as a designer has had a past with fashion, and is a key influencer to his loyal fans. Kanye is known as a self-proclaimed great, comparing himself to a God, but when it comes to Adidas, can they just let him dominant the brand? His timing with Adidas worked well for both parties, increasing Adidas’ stock and increasing sales by $2 billion by the end of 2015. His YEEZY collection is said to be one of the most anticipated, and influential drops ever. Kanye’s links with BAPE, Louis Vuitton and we won’t discuss his history with Nike (but who can forget the original Air Yeezy’s? ) lead us to believe that there are some interesting collaborations with other powerful fashion houses that may take the shoe world by storm.

Nikes latest advert ‘Nothing beats a Londoner’ brings together great UK artists to help promote the brand, but Kanye’s self-centeredness may isolate Adidas. Nike have manged to collect Off- White designer Virgil Abloh, after Kanye feared he may be out staged at Adidas, for a brief collection. However Kanye would appear to welcome Drake, as the fear of being out staged is far smaller. Kanye will still be the icon of Adidas whilst Drake may join Pharrell Williams, as a designer, but it is unlikely to ever let Kanye’s collection be overlooked.

Drake who notably has had a good run with Nike’s Jordan brand, is leaving on a much better note than Kanye, who often burns bridges with his unpredictable behaviour. Signing Drake onto the Adidas team will help continue Kanye’s unloving relationship with hurting and dissing Nike. In his song “FACTS” Kanye raps:

“If Nike ain’t had Drizzy man they would have nothing. If Nike ain’t have Don C. they would have nothing.”

 It seems like this could be a more motivational and calculated move by Kanye to help Adidas catch up with Nike after previously taking down the Jordan’s, but would this ever be possible?

Looking deeper this calculated move of acquiring yet another rapper at Adidas as a key influencer of creating business is an exciting prospect in the fashion world. Drake joins a team where he may have more creative design but may take the backseat to Kanye. It will be interesting to see once signed, hopefully within the next 6 months, where the brands involved will stand in this power battle. Who knows what Drake will have to offer…

Post written by Sianee Williams

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