Nike Yeezy Air Could Be Making a Return
- by Nick Demaria
- June 18, 2020
Ever since his exit from Nike in 2013, Kanye West has managed to put his relationship with the brand past him. However, if his latest interview with GQ magazine is anything to go by, it seems the rapper and entrepreneur is ready to squash any beef he and the company have.
In the interview, Kanye West talked about his plans to manufacture in Wyoming, expounded on his faith and beliefs, and managed to throw in some major sneaker news for his Yeezy mafia. West was asked about the inspiration behind his famous shoe collection.
He was hesitant to disclose the background stating that he didn’t want to go into the specifics. However, he shed light on the potential re-release of his iconic Air Yeezy 1 and 2 models. When asked if he was okay with Nike’s idea to retro the sneakers, he explained that he would be up for it. He added that he would be looking forward to giving people what they wanted.
Kanye West’s Collaboration With Nike
Kanye West partnered with Nike in 2009 for the production of the limited editions called Nike Air Yeezys. The shoes, backed up by Nike’s large following and West’s diehard fans, did impressively well, and stocks ran out quickly.
The shoes, as he put it, were a manifestation of West’s dreams to become the next Air Jordan. The Nike Air Yeezys officially dropped in 2009, 2012, and the last project dropped in 2014 before the two partners fell out.
In a different interview with Forbes magazine, he highlighted his frustrations with the company at the time. He added that he wasn’t given the royalties and special treatment like other athletes that the shoe brand collaborates with.
Additionally, Nike had an astringent set of demands for its production of the shoes despite the increasing sales. It should be noted that West had announced his plans to make Yeezys readily available for everyone. The shoes at the time were limited in stock and were, therefore, very costly.
West stated that he felt the pressure was too much. Eventually, things between Nike and West came to a close. Later that month, he declared his partnership with Adidas.
Kanye West and Adidas
The collaboration between West and Adidas was more than beneficial to both of the parties involved. At the time, the German shoe manufacturer was competing against Nike and Under Armor and West brought fresh creativity to the table.
The deal wasn’t, however, made official until when the management changed hands in 2016 that West began fully maximizing his potential. The agreement allowed him to retain full control and ownership of his Yeezy Brand and to earn 15% royalties on wholesale from old and new kicks.
Currently, the Yeezy shoe brand is estimated to be worth around $1.5 billion. This is a far cry from his infamous twitter declaration of his $53 million debt. His current net worth evaluation places him close to his role model Michael Jordan.
It is noteworthy to point out that Air Jordans have been around for close to three decades now. The Jordan Brand is estimated to be worth approximately $3 billion. With increasing sales in Yeezys, it would seem as though Kanye West is well on his way to reaching Michael Jordan.
The chaos that put Kanye West under heavy restrictions with Nike is now putting him on many sneaker news pages. Adidas is profiting from his creativity and scarce product drops. According to West, the model of scarcity plays a significant role in his business as he revealed that almost 40,000 new kicks get sold every minute after a surprise drop.
How Have the Nike AirYeezys Increased in Value?
It is no secret that after the Jordans, the Yeezys are the most coveted pairs of sneakers ever made. The resell price of a pair of unworn Yeezys currently goes for no less than $2500. This is a significant amount, and if Nike decides to retro the collection, they would be making big money.
The original Nike Air Yeezys dropped on April 4, 2009, and retailed for around $250. By 2016, the reselling price had gone up to at least $1000. In 2017, the Yeezys went up to $1500, and in 2018 the Nike Air Yeezys were reselling at $1600. The ‘Blink’ model which got resold for $1,250 in 2016 got resold in 2017 at a whopping $4250
The Air Yeezys 2 dropped unsurprisingly in 2014 with a midday tweet from Nike. Within 11 minutes, the new kicks got sold out. The Nike Air Yeezys 2 was at the time retailing at $245 a pair. Resellers were quick to put up their latest acquisitions on various shopping platforms such as eBay for a good buck.
Most resellers were placing their Yeezys at $2000 to an upward of $12,000. However, to date, the most inflated resell price of the Nike Air Yeezy 2 is valued at $5000+.
Over time, the resale prices of newer Yeezy shoes have reduced. This is due to more units being made. While Adidas and Kanye West still employ the scarcity model, their price ranges, and the stock has increased to accommodate their growing following.
However, fans should not hope for much as the sneaker news of a possible retro was simply an answer to an interview. It wouldn’t seem like Nike would be too welcoming of the idea since they already have a full catalog of collaborations on the way.
Additionally, if the shoe brand wanted to retro the shoes, they would have to bring them back under a different name since Kanye West owns the rights to the name, Yeezy. Also, Kanye West’s collaboration with Adidas seems to be working out for him, considering his recent achievements.
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