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Here’s How Jon Wexler Used Adidas as a Stepping Stone [+direct quotes]

By September 5, 2020September 24th, 2020News

JON WEXLER AIO FEAT“We regret to inform you that Jon Wexler, VP GM of Yeezy, has decided to leave Adidas to pursue interests outside the company, effective August 31.”

That was the internal memo sent to Adidas employees upon Wexler’s official departure after twenty years of soulful contribution. Jon Wexler, also known as Wex, was the innovative dot connector at Adidas, whose influence built the brand’s collaboration profile over the years. He was the marketing brain behind the Beyonce, Pharrell Williams, and Kanye West unions with Adidas. He is not an athlete nor is he an artist or designer. He is the brainpower and grand designer of collaborations with creative potential. So, as the person who “saved Kanye West’s life”, what made it feel like it was time to move forward?

Hype Transformed Through Kanye Wex

In his interview with HYPEBEAST Radio back in January 2019, Wex made one point clear: Kanye West probably had little to nothing to do with Yeezy marketing. The following is a direct quote from Wex’s interview:

“Kids have this industry-created perception that things have value based on when brands decide to hit the on or off switch, not on the inherent quality of the materials.”

After that, he went on to add that there is nothing wrong or appalling about an in stock brand made available to the public. His tone conveyed that it was actually harder to reach “stable” grounds than it is to live up to hype. And that to cross over the hype bridge to the point where people still want to buy your brand even when it’s technically not as hot is “a leap.”

Familiar marketing strategy to Adidas Yeezy? Going on and off for months at a time with Yeezy releases. Testing the waters for an on-going on switch with likes of the Yeezy Cream White. Leaking photos of unreleased Yeezys on his personal Twitter page to spark up demand. Then adopting the “Yeezys for all” mindset when it was positive that people would still buy. When there was zero chance of regrets. No wonder Kanye admits to Wex for saving his life. Because with the strategy that he so openly discussed the inner-workings of, he saved Adidas Yeezy.

As an ending note on what Wex thought he meant to Adidas, he said in an interview with Complex: I would just like to think I left a legacy with the brand that put it in a better place than it was when I found it.”

Why Is Jon Wexler Joining Shopify?

A mutual visionary bond was established between Jon Wexler and Shopify leadership back in 2017. At the Shopify Open event which Wex attended in Portland. As an influential marketer, the concept of enabling entrepreneurs a platform for success spoke deeply to Wex. Let’s not forget that apart from his talent for entertainment and influential marketing, Wex is just another ordinary hard working man with a family of two teenagers. He is no superstar with golden faucets. So, he must personally understand what it means to truly establish oneself through creativity, hard work, and wit.

Not to mention that his work with Adidas has deeply involved him in the sport apparel and sneaker industry. And his line of influence stretched out only to the stars, and not the entire spectrum of talented individuals. It is possible that Wexler now seeks to find new creative DNA in unknown and non famous individuals. And above all, expand beyond the sneaker market to all things worth-selling or innovating. Celebrities cover a dot in the human spectrum. And it looks like Wexler is interested in discovering the potential of the rest of the population. Can you imagine the level of influence he’ll have over entrepreneurship? Shopify is an ecommerce platform that exists for “the creative mind who wants to expand.” As Shopify GM Padelford puts it. Which means that Wexler’s influential journey has only really just begun! Or as he puts it: “everything was training for this gig.”

Has Jon Wexler Abandoned Sneakers?

If you’re looking for a quick answer, it’s ABSOLUTELY NOT. Sneakers and Yeezys are on Shopify the same way they’re on Footlocker and Yeezysupply. And the world’s most hyped sneaker drops usually take place on Shopify. From Anti-Social to KITH and DSM. The sneaker brand diversity on Shopify is boundless. Wexler even acknowledged in the same interview with Complex that he knows he might have to help people sell Nikes as well. Is that a clear given or a giveaway we can read into? Might Wex cook it up with Nike in the future? Because after Adidas and through Shopify, he’s basically a “Just Do It” step from dominating the world. 

But perhaps this is just what this marketing, dot-connecting brain is hungry for: expansion. And the freedom to act upon it.