The Yeezy Craze

MatthewKee, Staff Reporter

On Sept. 21 at 4:00 p.m., thousands of hopeful Yeezy owners began to rapidly smash their fingers on their phone screens, only to be notified that all sizes had been reserved. The Adidas Reserve App was shortly deleted by users as their hopes of claiming these shoes were over. This was just the beginning of the third official Yeezy season, but the hysteria had flooded over at full force. Thousands of the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 that were available for reservations had been booked within the first second of release, and the shoes were sold out online in a matter of minutes due to server lag. How did this international obsession begin?

The term Yeezy was initially a nickname for the rapper and designer himself, Kanye West. The trend is widely used by rappers who take a letter or two of their name and combine it with “eezy.” Some examples include Weezy (Lil’ Wayne), Breezy (Chris Brown) and of course Yeezy (derived from his Kanye’s first name). In 2007, Kanye began to discuss a potential collaboration with Nike’s creative director, Mark Smith. The official shoes took roughly two years to fully develop, although many prototypes and samples were worn during Kanye and other rapper’s performances to tease the release. On April 4, 2009, the first official version of the shoes were released, retailed at a price of $215 and sold instantly whereas now they are in the price range of $2,627-$3,157.

Furthermore, the following release garnered even more success than its predecessor. The Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red October is the most well known Yeezy, originally sold for $250 but is now worth over five thousand dollars. However, it was at this time that Kanye and Nike ended their relationship. Because Nike refused to give Kanye any of the royalties from the explosively successful shoe, Kanye left Nike and began his collaboration with Adidas on Dec. 3, 2013. The process for the new design took two years to develop once again. This time the Red Octobers were released in 2014. After years of work, Adidas and Kanye hosted a showcase in New York City on Feb. 12, 2015. Thus, the term “Yeezy season” began with the initial release of the Yeezy Boost 750, when 9000 pairs were sold out within ten minutes of showcase. A few months later, the new Yeezy Boost 350s were released and sold out on the same day.

This recent month marked the third season of Yeezy with the release of Yeezy Boost 350 V2 on Sep. 24, 2016. The new season is projected to produce more sales than any previous season, confirmed by Kanye’s tweet that ”Adidas is making a million Yeezys this year, opening up new factories.”  With the new season in progress, only time will tell how this third year of collaboration between Kanye and Adidas will fare.

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