Japan’s No.1
Sneaker Marketplace

21st April 2024 EDT FEATURES

The YEEZY Rollercoaster Ride: A Look Back and a Glimpse into the Future

Yeezy, Yeezy, Yeezy—Did it ever surpass Jumpman?

The YEEZY Rollercoaster Ride: A Look Back and a Glimpse into the Future
The YEEZY Rollercoaster Ride: A Look Back and a Glimpse into the Future

“adidas Raises 2024 Profit Projections After Successful Yeezy Drops” that was the headline on HYPEBEAST not long ago. Well, how did this happen amidst the ongoing YEEZY feud?

Kanye was not too happy about the Three Stripes selling off the remaining YEEZY stocks and not paying him for it. To put it into context, adidas broke things off with Kanye in October 2022 after he made a string of antisemitic remarks.

As a rebuttal to those comments, the brand chose to donate a significant amount (probably Kanye’s piece of the pie) of the generated sales to selected organizations working to combat discrimination and hate, including racism and antisemitism. No one knows where this feud is going but the question beckons, is this the fall of YEEZY? Again?

Having conquered the sneaker world with adidas, YEEZY now faces a new chapter, one marked by controversy and uncertainty. Before getting into the discourse, let’s take a look at the timeline of how YEEZY has performed ever since it was birthed by the 24-time Grammy Award winner.

The Rise and Fall with Nike (2009-2013)

“808s & Heartbreak” isn’t the only genius product Kanye provided his fans in 2009. It was also the year we witnessed the inception of the first Yeezy brand, the Nike Air Yeezy 1. This collaboration marked a first for Nike, as it was their initial non-athlete, full partnership.

The shoe’s design process involved Kanye West and Nike designers, taking inspiration from classic Nike silhouettes. The Air Yeezy went on to have a successful run, followed by the Air Yeezy II in 2012. Now who could forget the “Red October”? However, when something goes up, it eventually has to come down.

Kanye’s eventual 2013 split with Nike was a result of a few factors. Creative control, financial disagreement (ahem!), and the valuable brand partnership being offered to him by adidas.

The Climb to the Top (2013-2020)

Just like clockwork, the year Kanye gave us “The Life of Pablo”, he also gave us the first YEEZY Boost 750, from his partnership with adidas. This sleek, high-top sneaker, featuring adidas’s innovative Boost cushioning technology, became an instant sensation.

Exclusive releases and celebrity endorsements fueled the hype, making the YEEZY Boost 750 a highly sought-after collector’s item. This exclusivity being key, YEEZY releases became desirable events, with fans camping out for days to secure a pair. Each drop fueled a thriving resale market, further elevating YEEZY’s status symbol.

The success of the YEEZY Boost 750 was just the beginning. A string of popular YEEZY models followed, notably the 350s, and each generated excitement and propelled the YEEZY brand to new heights. Kanye’s outspoken personality and celebrity connections undoubtedly added to the brand’s allure.

This fruitful partnership not only made Kanye a billionaire but also established YEEZY as a major force in the sneaker world. The adidas-YEEZY collaboration became a cultural phenomenon, forever changing the sneaker industry but for how long?

The Cracks Begin to Show (2018-2022)

While YEEZY thrived commercially, cracks started appearing. Critics pointed out declining quality and a saturation of the market with frequent releases. Kanye’s increasingly controversial behavior also took a toll. Public spats and remarks alienated some fans, damaging the brand’s image.

The Fall and the Uncertain Path Forward (2022-present)

The breaking point came in 2022 with a series of controversies that led adidas to terminate its partnership with Ye. This severed a crucial lifeline for YEEZY, leaving adidas with a massive stockpile and Ye with unproven ventures in solo clothing lines and potentially independent shoe deals.

However, the story took a turn in 2023. adidas and Ye reached a deal allowing them to sell the remaining YEEZY stock, and Ye has hinted at relaunching YEEZY independently.

Fast forward to today, adidas has severed ties with Ye. However, they are still clearing their YEEZY inventory while also pursuing legal action. The future of YEEZY remains uncertain. It could recapture its former glory by focusing on innovative design and quality control, but the road ahead will be challenging.

The question remains: can YEEZY survive without the marketing muscle and collaborative hype of the adidas partnership? Only time will tell. But one thing is for sure: with adidas’ continuous efforts to clear up the YEEZY stocks, the market might be saturated now and the prices could not be any lower. 

Remember, yesterday’s price is not today’s price because the YEEZY bricks might shoot up once the stocks become obsolete. 

To make it easier for the readers,

Yeezy Taught Me… the Best Colorways to Score Right Now

1. adidas YEEZY Boost 700 “Wave Runner”

Price: ~US$334
Style Code: B75571
Release Date: 17 Aug 2023

2. adidas YEEZY Boost 350 “Turtle Dove” (2015)

Price: ~US$665
Style Code: AQ4832
Release Date: 26 Jun 2015

3. adidas YEEZY Boost 350 V2 “Onyx”

Price: ~US$218
Style Code: HQ4540
Release Date: 31 May 2023

4. adidas YEEZY Slide “Slate Marine”

Price: ~US$70
Style Code: ID2349
Release Date: 11 Aug 2023

5. adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Semi Frozen Yellow”

Price: ~US$273
Style Code: B37572
Release Date: 17 Nov 2017

6. adidas YEEZY Foam Runner “MX Cinder”

Price: ~US$97
Style Code: ID4126
Release Date: 1 Jun 2023

7. adidas YEEZY 450 “Resin”

Price: ~US$126
Style Code: GY4110
Release Date: 17 Dec 2021

8. adidas YEEZY Boost 350 V2 “Zebra”

Price: ~US$251
Style Code: CP9654
Release Date: 1 Jun 2023

9. adidas YEEZY Boost 700 “Salt”

Price: ~US$235
Style Code: EG7487
Release Date: 1 Jun 2023

10. adidas YEEZY Foam Runner “Stone Salt”

Price: ~US$110
Style Code: GV6840
Release Date: 11 Aug 2023

For the latest releases, breaking news, and exclusive interviews, stay tuned to the SNKRDUNK Magazine and @snkrdunk on Instagram. Explore the SNKRDUNK App too and don’t forget to use our welcome code from the banner below before making your first purchase. Additionally, if you would like to try a pair out, visit our stores in Singapore and Japan!

More SNKRDUNK Features:

Sneakers K-Pop Idols Wore During Their Comeback As of April 2024
A Neverending Era of Success: Why New Era® Hats Are So Popular
Conquer Coachella & Beyond: The Ultimate List for Festival Footwear
[SNKRDUNK Exclusive Interview] Hiroshi Fujiwara and Jeff Staple
LE SSERAFIM Rocks the Travis Scott x Nike Air Jordan 1s: Shop the Look