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Yeezys popped onto the fashion radar in 2013 and haven’t left since. They’re only getting more and more popular amongst newbies and long-time sneaker collectors alike.
The collaboration between Kanye West and Adidas drew a ton of attention, but also begged the question, “why are these shoes so expensive?”
While the cost doesn’t sway fans of these luxury sneakers, outsiders might be wondering where the costs come from. And for a good reason, they do cost more than some people’s rent.
If you’re curious, this is the place for you. Here are just a few reasons why Yeezys are so expensive.
How Much Are Yeezys Anyway?
This is tough to answer. Initially, Yeezys might not be the most expensive shoe you’ve ever seen. They’re costly, but for sneakers, they’re not so bad.
The price range hovers between the mid $150s to around $400, with some outliers. That sounds reasonable, right?
Well, that’s before they’re sold out.
If you want to get your hands on a pair, you’re likely going to be working with a reseller. It’s nearly impossible to get your hands on a pair initially with their popularity, so you need to go through someone who can get the things that you want.
Reselling price can range from just slightly above retail value, to some shoes being in the thousands.
Why Are Yeezys So Expensive?
This phenomenon is probably wild to a lot of people who aren’t in the know about Yeezys. Why do they cost so much? There are a few factors that go into it, and some carry more weight than others.
Branding and Marketing
If there’s one thing that Yeezys have going in their favor, it’s branding. This is probably the most significant factor that helps to hold all of the other elements in place.
Kanye West is his own brand. He’s a music icon and a major celebrity, and he’s paired up with other stars to build himself up more and more through time. While he was doing this, people took note of his fashion.
While it’s not for everyone, in some circles, his fashion is also iconic. This made him a powerhouse when it came to building a genuine brand around an item of clothing.
When it came to marketing Yeezys, he also took all of the right steps. Kanye gifted a pair of Yeezys to Barack Obama, drawing eyes that perhaps wouldn’t have been on him before.
If that wasn’t enough, in a more criticized decision, he gifted Yeezys to orphans in Uganda, drawing more attention from even more people that he hadn’t reached before. Whether or not this was partially a marketing decision is up in the air, but it did get his brand out there.
Supply and Demand
Suppliers know that Yeezys are going to be popular. Making a smaller supply of an item than the demand for it makes the item more valuable.
It makes it seem like the item is exclusive and only for the elite few that are able to get their hands on it.
People naturally want the Yeezys, and so they sink into these marketing traps and end up buying them anyway. While suppliers are able to make more, if they did that, they wouldn’t be able to charge as much.
If there were enough Yeezys for every person on the planet to have a pair, there would be no way to sell them for hundreds (or maybe thousands) of dollars. With a small and exclusive supply of products, people want to be part of the club.
The demand is greater than the supply, and the Yeezys become collector’s items. It’s kind of like a trading card game.
Some people genuinely enjoy this process and don’t mind the supply and demand games.
As mentioned before, resellers are a large part of how Yeezys get as expensive as they do. Not all Yeezys are going to be marked up into the thousands (those are going to be the very limited supply ones made from more luxury materials), but they will all be marked up a little bit.
Resellers know how to get the products early enough that they can mark them up to sell to consumers. Sometimes they have special tricks. They’re just a part of the game.
The Culture Around Yeezys
Two cultures come together around Yeezys, and both of them are perfectly fine with spending a bit of extra money.
One of them is the culture behind streetwear and street fashion (sometimes called “hypebeast” culture). The urge to follow these trends and get these styles is real and important, and it must be followed—a true example of form over function.
The other is the “sneakerhead culture,” which has been around for decades and isn’t set to die down anytime soon.
When these two come together, they’ll spend a lot of money to keep in the newest styles and collecting the rarest items.
Is the Price of Yeezys Right for You?
Yeezys are expensive, but if you think of them as a collector’s item as well as a shoe, you might understand the hype a little bit more. Some people love the chase and the game in getting the exact shoe that they were looking for. It can be a lot of fun.
While expensive sneakers aren’t for everyone, the branding and marketing behind these ones have to be applauded. Kanye and his team know how to sell a style.