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kanye west

Kanye West: The History of Yeezy’s

Yeezy is a fashion collaboration between Adidas (a German sportswear company) and Kanye West (an American rapper, designer, entrepreneur, and public figure).

Their collaboration is notable for its quality, high-end, limited-edition colorways as well as general releases provided by the YeezyBoost sneakers line up. This collaboration has also created jackets, shirts, socks, slippers, track pants, and women’s shoes.

History of the Yeezy’s

In 2006, Kanye West originally designed a shoe for the German footwear company but it was not released. Kanye West moved on to officially collaborate with Bape. Together they released a pair of Bapesta “College Dropout” shoes. (Bapesta are now quite rare and as such, garner high resell prices.

He also went to design shoes for Giuseppe Zanotti, Louis Vuitton, and notably Nike. Kanye’s a collaboration with Nike lasted for 5 years within which Yeezy 1 and Yeezy 2 sneaker styles were released.

West left Nike in 2013 after the release of the “Red October” Air Yeezy 2s. His departure was heartbreaking to him even though Nike opted to pay some of his proceeds to a charity of his choice, instead of paying him royalties for his shoe designs.

The departure allowed Kanye West to reach out to Adidas which (luckily) agreed to give him royalties for his shoe designs. (Adidas offered a 15% royalty on wholesale.) As such, West saw the Adidas CEO as “someone who allowed [him] to build something”.

In February 2015, the collaboration between Kanye West and Adidas was officially debuted. That is exactly 15 months since the confirmation of the said collaboration.

Luckily, “Yeezy Season 1” was highly anticipated with celebrities like Diddy, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian showing. Similarly, “Yeezy Season 2” and “Yeezy Season 3” were successful upon their releases.

When the 2020 pandemic struck, the Yeezy brand was accorded a 2.5 million dollars Paycheck Protection Program loan to retain its 106 employees.

Yeezy Clothing

The first season of Yeezy clothing was released on 29th October 2015. Yeezy Season 1 apparel collection featured a stripped-down and ready-to-wear style that was inspired by military clothing and flesh-toned colors. Their prices ranged from $600 per sweatpants to $3000 for a jacket.

Unfortunately, the apparel collection did not sell out as quickly as their footwear.

In a 2018 interview, Kanye West revealed that he was negotiating with Louis Vuitton for a $30 million clothing deal. However, the deal was rejected by the Vuitton board leaving West without apparel partners.

And since bad news always comes in twos, Adidas announced their exit from the Yeezy apparel collaboration – right after the Yeezy Season 1 deal. Instead, Adidas would focus on the Yeezy footwear.

At the release of Yeezy (footwear)Season 6, the duo re-introduced several apparels with Adidas branding. This season premiered in 2018, with a promotion ad featuring Lela Star (a porn star), Paris Hilton, and other models.

Yeezy Footwear

A combination of factors such as celebrity endorsements and massive marketing put the Adidas Yeezy sneakers in the spotlight. The sneaker line became influential and highly coveted. This could partly be due to their Adidas’s Boost material.

Here’s a rundown of how the Yeezy footwear has been fairing.

Yeezy Boost 750

As noted earlier, Adidas confirmed its shoe collaboration deal with Kanye West on the 3rd of December 2013. In February 2015, the collaboration between Kanye West and Adidas was officially debuted.

The highly anticipated Yeezy Season 1 debuted with the Adidas Yeezy Boost 750 “Light Brown” in limited edition. The available 9000 pairs old out in 10 minutes. Thereafter, the Adidas Yeezy Boost 750 “Light Brown” sneakers were available via a wider range of retailers for 7 days – i.e. between the 21st of February to the 28th of February.

Yeezy Boost 350

On the 27th, June 2015, the Yeezy Boost 350 – the second footwear from the Adidas and Kanye West collaboration – was made available via a worldwide release.

Yeezy 950

Next in line was the Yeezy 950 that was first released on the 29th, October 2015 through a limited edition. Yeezy 950 came in Pirate Black, Chocolate, Peyote, and Moonrock colorways.

Each pair retailed at $399.

And while these kicks extended the Adidas and West’s partnership outside of the sneakers arena thanks to its military duckboot-kind-of design, the footwear has not been released again.

Yeezy 350 Cleat

Yeezy 350 Cleat was specially designed for football. As such, it premiered in a 2016 NFL kickoff game. However, DeAndre Hopkins, a Texans wide receiver was charged a $6,000 fine for wearing the Yeezy 350 Cleats – because they lacked a solid base color as required by the NFL uniform policy.

Yeezy Powerphase Calabasas

Yeezy Powerphase Calabasas premiered on the 28th, March 2017. This kick was a retro sneaker that served as an update of an Adidas trainer made in the 80s. It featured a high-quality white leather upper with a red Trefoil logo, green Adidas branding, and perforated stripes.

The second colorway (tonal grey colorway) was released globally on 9th December 2017, at $120 per pair. It was followed by a Core Black colorway on the 17th, March 2018.

After the first three colorways were released, Adidas continued to produce several Powerphase Boost without the Yeezy Calabasas branding.

The company then re-introduced the 80s Adidas trainer that had inspired the Yeezy Powerphase Calabasas model.

Yeezy Boost 700

Yeezy Boost 700 was debuted in 2017, during the Yeezy Season 5 show. The kick premiered on the 12th, August 2017, for $300.

During the launch, the Adidas and Kanye West partnership was expected to release black and white/gum colorways in 2018.

On the 23rd, March 2019, the Yeezy Boost 700 V2 “Geode” colorway was released alongside a nationwide lemonade stand charity campaign purposed to raise money for the National Alliance of Mental Illness.

Yeezy 500

Yeezy 500’s Desert Rat colorway was released in December 2017. Its premier was a pre-order with the delivery scheduled for March 2018.

Yeezy Boost 380

The first Adidas Yeezy Boost 380 (the Alien colorway) was released in December 2019. In the US. This release was a surprise done on Kanye West’s Yeezy Supply.

Yeezy Foam Runner

This kick is the first Adidas Yeezy footwear made in the US. It was first made available exclusively on the Yeezy Supply site on 26th June 2020. The footwear was partially made of harvested algae, with the debut colorway (Ararat) going for $75.

Conclusion

The Yeezy line is pushing its boundaries, and as such, only the future can tell what’s in store for the “most influential shoe” of 2016, as described by the GQ.

Before then, grab the much-coveted Yeezy Boost 350 here at an affordable price.

Want to learn more about top celebs and their favorite kicks? Click here for our complete rundown.

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