The Nike Air Yeezy: Where it All Began
If you've ever wondered why a different sneaker company than Adidas didn't snap up the now wildly popular Yeezy line, then read on because you're about to find out the back story to this infamous shoe.
Most sneaker enthusiasts know that the German company Adidas is the lucky sneaker brand that has collaborated with Kanye West for almost a decade now.
Not only have they brought us sneakers, like the super cool and comfortable Yeezy Boost 750 but they've also brought us shoes that we can hike in, like the Yeezy 500, and shoes that feel almost like slippers, such as the Yeezy Slide.
But let's take a deeper dive into what the Yeezy brand could have been, if another well-known shoe company would have realized how successful Kanye West and his Yeezys were actually going to be.
The Nike Air Yeezy...What Could Have Been
As with many great ideas, the first Yeezys started as a vision by a man who thought he could bring the world something that no one else had yet thought of.
Known for his musical talents as well as his fashion lines, rapper Kanye West was that man.
He believed that the Yeezy could fill a niche that hadn't yet been fully realized in the world of kicks and he set out to be the guy who would do it.
After coming up with the initial idea for the Yeezy shoes, Kanye West realized he needed to fund his idea, so he decided to partner with Nike and together they released a brand-new shoe in April of 2009.
Known as the Nike Air Yeezy, these high-top sneakers retailed for just over 200 USD and were quickly recognized by the athletic and fashion world as the first Nike sneakers that were not designed for athletes.
It was an interesting leap for a company that had always prided itself on being strictly athletic wear, but clearly, Nike saw something in Kanye West and his Yeezy shoes that made them willing to take a risk on something new.Adidas Yeezy Boost 380 "Pepper"
Nike creative director Mark Smith was charged with helping Kanye create his shoe.
Smith, a veteran at Nike, knew how to combine the vision of West with a shoe that would actually sell. Their collaboration began as a huge success and the Nike Air Yeezy 1 was born.
With names like Zen Grey, Net Tan, and Blink, the first three releases of the Air Yeezy started a new division for Nike that everyone was banking would continue to grow.
The first Air Yeezy shoes were met with a ton of excitement. Nike had designed an intense ad campaign to promote them and people were curious to see what all the hype was about.
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Getting your hands on a pair of the Nike Air Yeezy 1 became more than just a dream for kick collectors...some actually began to see it as an investment platform as the resell of the shoe was off the charts for such a new brand.
In 2012, Nike and Kanye released the even more innovative Nike Air Yeezy II.
Starting at 250 dollars a pair, these kicks were particularly unique with their back ridges on every sneaker as well as the glow-in-the-dark fins that took the whole look up another notch.Yeezy 500 Blush
It was no surprise that the Nike Air Yeezy II sold out in minutes with the surprise release of the Red October colorway being resold at times for thousands of dollars.
Clearly, the Nike Air Yeezy I and the Nike Air Yeezy II were a hit. But - unfortunately for Nike - the relationship between the sneaker company and the Yeezy creator wasn't going to last.
According to Kanye and others who were involved, this was not the fault of the rapper or his famed Yeezy sneakers.
As the brand continued to sell, Nike made a business decision that would go down in history as one that wasn't exactly wise.
Nike wouldn’t let Kanye take any royalties from the sale of the Yeezy sneakers, which meant that Kanye wasn't getting any of the profits that were associated with the Yeezys’ continued success.
Soon, rumors began to circulate that Kanye was considering taking his Yeezy shoe brand to Nike's biggest competitor, Adidas.
Sure enough, eventually, Ye walks away from Nike and joins forces with Adidas.
And the rest, as many of us know, is history. An even more successful history, in fact, for Adidas, for Ye, and for the Yeezy sneakers.
Looking for a Pair of Air Yeezy Sneakers?
The Air Yeezy sneakers are still available - assuming you want to pay top dollar for a pair of the originals that are now being sold as collectibles among kick collectors worldwide.
If you're looking for your own pair of Yeezy sneakers, come see what Mad Kicks has to offer.
As one of the premier online sneaker and streetwear sites in the world, Mad Kicks has hundreds of options, from new and used brands to accessories to go with all your favorite footwear.
When you're looking for the experts in all things kicks, turn to Mad Kicks, a Dubai-based online sneaker store that will be sure to help you find whatever it is you're looking to add to your own personal kicks collection!
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