According to a new report by Rolling Stone, Kanye West’s Yeezy company “seemed like a dream job on paper” but was actually a nightmare where workers felt like they were always walking a tightrope wire with their boss, who would fire employees for the most seemingly-innocent things.
Nearly two dozen people who formerly worked with West at Yeezy, Adidas, and Gap, spoke with Rolling Stone about their work conditions, which included working upwards of 12- to 15-hour days where “you have to constantly agree with him” or risk your job in the process.
One Adidas Yeezy designer told the magazine, “His anger at us in everyday interactions was just inappropriate, and honestly an HR nightmare.”
“How he is on social media is exactly how he’s like with employees,” an Adidas Yeezy senior staffer shared.
There was one staffer who claimed that they were fired for suggesting that they play Drake’s music, a rapper with whom West had a notorious beef (though to be fair, who hasn’t he had a beef with at this point?)
The staffer, who knew nothing about rap, suggested Drake. “I thought, ‘Oh, he’s a rapper, I should probably mention some rap.’ Big mistake — the next day I was fired.”
Other former employees shared that they felt forced to wear the Yeezy clothing line and had to follow a strict dress code put in place by the rapper.
“Upon entering the Calabasas office, West would document his team members’ outfits, snapping photos in the security office like a school picture day, according to three sources,” according to Rolling Stone. “Some believed the practice was a harmless way for West to draw inspiration, but there could be consequences if West didn’t find what they were wearing to his taste.”
Staffers were forced to leave or even fired for wearing clothing that wasn’t approved of by West, who fired a staffer for wearing a yellow sweater after he had told them to “dress for the palette or you dress in black.”
“We [didn’t] leave unless Kanye leaves,” a former employee stated. “Nobody wanted anything to go wrong while Kanye was there because your job obviously could be in jeopardy if a mega-superstar is there and the printer doesn’t work.”
West’s recent and contentious clothing line was reportedly inspired by “skinheads and Nazis,” according to a staffer who was in the room when he made the comment, and at the Paris Fashion Week, the rapper wore the highly-controversial “White Lives Matter” shirt. His actions and comments in recent months have caused significant backlash, to the point that the anti-Semitic rapper has lost out on deals and business connections that have dropped West from a billionaire to a millionaire status.