The very first non-athlete shoe to be realesed from Nike was the Air Yeezy 1. And it was designed by none other than the highly talented and multi award-winning artist Kanye West himself. by combining parts of Nike’s famous Jordan shoes along with a few personal touches, West did not only create Nike’s first major non-athlete tied shoe, but created a sneaker that would rock the world of sneaker and fashion culture alike. Today the Yeezy 1’s may not be talked about that much, and some may even question the impact it initially had on the sneaker world, but despite that discussion it paved the way for something much, much bigger than the yeezy 1. A sneaker that would shake the sneaker and fashion world in such a way which have never been seen before, and may never be again. I’m of course talking about the successor to the famous yeezy one. The Nike Air Yeezy 2! And since im now back from my exams I thought it would be the prefect time to talk about the history and the fallout that this sneaker created.
(The Air Yeezy 2 and all its colourways)
The Air Yeezy 2 has a somewhat troubling back story. following the enormous success of the Air Yeezy 1. Nike And west began working on the Air yeezy 2 and while the 1’s had a more retro look to them the 2’s would ditch this kind of feel and go for a bigger focus on the fashion elements in a sneaker.
while still maintaining a retro sneaker base the details like the Fauz reptile skin on the sides molted together with the hieroglyphs on the top spelling out “YZY” and the golden aglets were all fresh takes on a sneaker, and you can see the evolution the yeezy went through, and it look pretty damn good. As footwear designer Brett Gollif would say it “The first one was a culmination of parts and just felt like caricature of a shoe. Over-animated proportions with a lack of vision. A one-hit wonder to test the market.” The Yeezy 2, on the other hand, Golliff insists, was “created to be iconic. It wasn’t just a culmination of unique features that spoke to Kanye. It was a full-on holistic shoe that tested what materials and proportion can be.”
(Jay-Z and Kanye West during their watch the throne tour)
While the Original Air yeezy 1’s realesed back in 2009 the First set of 2’s coming in the Wolf platinum and Solar red colourway would not realese until summer 2012, and up until this point west had been teasing the realese with numerous appearances with the shoes on as seen in the picture above. And while Kanye has a reputation for being difficult to worth with, the waiting period for the Air Yeezy 2’s lies on Nike and also the limited numbers they decided to ship to retailers. The realese didn’t even see both shoes realese in the same stores except in chicago. The solar red was shipped to retailers on the east coast while the Wolf platinum saw a realese with retailers located on the west coast, as mentioned before only a few selected retailers based in chicago actually had both pairs in stock when they realesed. But nothing would compare to the drama that came with the realese of the 3rd colourway, the Air Yezzy 2 Red October
(The infamous Red October)
The red october is properly the most famous of all the Air Yeezy 2’s and without a doubt the most expensive of the bunch. In november 2013 during his Yeezus tour, West would constantly take shoots at Nike CEO Mark Parker for continuously delaying the release of The third colourway. Kanye even went as far as claiming that Parker said that he didn’t understand why people bought Yezzys in the first place and didn’t see them as a big deal. this of course created a bigger rift between Nike And Kanye in what would eventually result in them parting ways. many speculate why Nike didn’t take Kanyes yeezy seriously as with their Jordan or Lebron sneaker line and many say that it’s because Kanye wasn’t and athlete and that’s the main reason the Yeezys weren’t as important to Nike as their other shoe lines. Kanye even commented on this statement and said that while he may not do sports he is a performance athlete ans that no one can take Madison Square Garden as he can.
but eventually the Red Octobers realesed and to everyones surprise Nike decided to do it as sa random drop on their website only.
(Hope you didn’t sleep)
as seen in the picture they sold out in only 11 minutes
another thing worth talking about when it comes to the Air yeezy 2’s is the amount of sample pairs that were created. As you know Companies create a couple of Sample pairs for each shoe they plan on releasing before deciding on the one they want to go with, but with the Air Yezzy 2 there were a bit more sample pair than just a couple. sources say that apart from the 3 colourways that exists 20 other colourways were created, and only 1-2 pair of each seizes to exist.
(My favorite of all the samples)
The Air yeezy 2 was the end of an era for West. What could have been the most important shoe for Nike since the beginning of the Air Jordans ended when it was on its highest. And while pictures of concept art for The Nike Air Yeezy 3’s have circumvented on the internet, Nike Haven’t confirmed anything and doesn’t seem to have any interest in trying to create a 3rd pair of Air Yeezys. but this doesn’t mean Wests legacy is over, quite the opposite actually.
Ever since Kanye signed with Adidas back in 2014 we’ve seen quite a lot of drops of Different Yezzys like the 750’s and of course the Yeezys boosts 350 V1 and V2’s. And with the restocking of The Adidas Yeezy boost 350 Zebras right around the corner and the announcements of other 350’s and a completely new Yeezy called the Yeezy boost 650. Kanye Wests sneakers doesn’t seems to stop dropping anytime soon.
Even thought it may they got a bitter end. The Air Yeezys are still considered some of the most valuable Sneakers in the Sneaker world, with prices hitting the 10,000$ dollar mark. And with Kanyes continuous success that price is only slowly moving up. Love him or hate him, people can’t deny the contribution this man has given to the sneaker world. Some call him mad, while other call him a genius, and others recal that throughout history, some of the world biggest minds has at some point in their life been called mad. maybe there is something to it.