Yeezy season is here!
The iconic collab between Chicago rapper, Kanye West and adidas has given us some of the most iconic sneakers of all time, but there’s a lot you don’t know about the Yeezys.
We’re gonna give you an insight into everything Kanye West x adidas! From the statement silhouettes to the story behind them – this is the history of Yeezy.
Kanye’s first dealings with adidas happened in 2006 when he designed a trainer for the 3-Stripes brand which was ultimately never released. For years it was not clear what an ’06 Yeezus sneaker would have looked like, until Ben Pruess (global director of adidas Originals) shared a picture of Kanye’s design on the ‘gram. The post showed a reworked Rod Laver Vintage sneaker in a white colourway with the iconic Dropout Bear to the tongue for some classic Kanye edge.
In 2013, 7 years after first working with adi, Kanye signed a deal worth $10 million to design sneakers under the adidas Originals banner. Making a name of himself in the world of music, Kanye was now given full creative control to fully realise his artistic vision in the world of sneakers. Kanye went on to create the Yeezy range that has become iconic around the world.
Released in 2015, Yeezy Season 1 kicked off with the adidas Yeezy Boost 750, the first adidas sneaker to be designed by Kanye West. These high-top sneakers featured a full suede upper, the infamous cross-strap, a full-length zipper and a tech upgrade with the iconic BOOST sole.
The design of the sneaker was inspired by UGG boots with a look that was styled for Marty McFly from Back to the Future – givin’ you a comfy look with a futuristic edge!
Another sneaker that dropped as part of Yeezy Season 1 was the Yeezy Boost 950 Duckboot. Released in October 2015, the Duckboot had a more militaristic look that works in the outdoors and on the streets. The most expensive Yeezy sneaker ever released (although not the most expensive Kanye West sneaker ever released – that honour goes to his one-time Louis V collab 👀), the Duckboot was released in several colourways including all-black, cream and brown.
2015 also saw the second ever entry to the adidas Yeezy range with the launch of the Yeezy Boost 350. Launching in the ‘Turtle Dove’ colourway, this low top sneaker came with a woven Primeknit upper and a BOOST sole – bringing adi’s most iconic tech to Kanye’s fresh design. Later released in ‘Pirate Black’, ‘Moonrock’ & ‘Oxford Tan’, the original Yeezy 350s are highly regarded by sneakerheads and are now considered a collector’s item.
Without a doubt the most popular Yeezy sneaker around, the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 first dropped during Yeezy Season in 2016.
The 350 V2 came with a higher heel and sole than the OG 350, while also adding a patterned design to the Primeknit, which has become an essential part of the Yeezy look. The first colourway that dropped was the ‘Beluga’, which had a contrasting orange stripe across the sidewalls that featured ‘SPLY 350’ detailing. Although the meaning of ‘SPLY 350’ is unknown, it’s widely believed to mean ‘Supply 350’ or ‘Saint Pablo Loves You’.
Since the sneakers’ debut in 2016, the demand for the iconic silhouette has only grown with adidas x Kanye releasing a range of colourways over the years, all of which sold out within minutes…
First unveiled as part of Yeezy Season 5 in February 2017, the Yeezy ‘Wave Runner’ 700 came out at a time when the chunky trainer (or ‘dad shoe’) was blowing up on the streets, in part because of style icons like Kim K West. Influenced by his wife’s style, Kanye decided to take Yeezys in a different direction. The contrasting look of the 700s compared to the previous silhouettes initially split sneakerheads about whether they were must cop or not.
A turning point in how people saw the creps came when Chance The Rapper wore them while hosting SNL, which caused hype for the fresh silhouette to build. Since the sneaker dropped in August 2017, they’ve seen several restocks, along with switched up colourways.
Continuing to switch things up, the Yeezy 500 came as the first Yeezy sneaker from adidas to not feature a BOOST midsole. These sneakers came with the “Feet You Wear” sole, which has a 20-year history. The sole originally debuted on Kobe Bryant’s signature adidas KB8 III sneakers in ’99 and was used to help b-ballers avoid rolling their ankles on the court. The oversized look of the sole now fits in perfectly with the chunky trainer trend.
While the sneaker was teased throughout 2017 with Kanye appearing in public wearing the previously unseen silhouette, it wasn’t until April of 2018 that the creps saw a nationwide release in a ‘Desert Rat’ colourway.
The Yeezy sneakers from adidas are a realisation of Kanye West’s desire to create iconic sneakers to light up the streets. From starting out his career as a struggling producer working where he could, Kanye has now established himself as a force in both the world of music and sneakers.
Make sure you stay up to date with the upcoming Yeezy releases at JD right here.