Hi again there guys, today I have an question to ask you all; what would of happened if Kanye stayed with Nike?
So, where to start? Well, back in the baggy pants, track jacket days, Kanye West was only really known for his legendary rapping and producing skills. That was until of course, Kanye had some major news, he was producing a shoe as part of an upcoming collaboration with Nike.
Yes, back in 2007, Kanye West had just signed a contract with Nike, he would design a shoe as part of a collaboration for Nike. The shoe would in a way be named after Kanye; it would be called the Yeezy. Before today’s Yeezy 350’s, 750’s and 950’s the sneaker game was completely different. Yeah, it’s amazing how people’s ideas on what is dope and what isn’t changes in what can seem such a short space of time.
Although we just talk about it now, it wasn’t just the fact that Kanye was working with Nike. It was in fact the sportswear’s first non-athlete full collaboration.
When West first debuted an early prototype of the Yeezy at the Grammy’s, the Yeezy featured an all black suede upper. This would not be the final product that would be endorsed by Kanye. Whilst he was performing however, the crowds who had come to see him perform his hit singles ‘Stronger’ and ‘Hey Mama’ had no idea that the shoes he was rocking were mainly designed by him. The name of this prototype was the Nike Air Yeezy “Jordan 6”
Moving forward to the Yeezys release date, many prototypes had been put together and observed by the Nike team. Of course out of the many designs only 3 made it these colourways were dubbed the Zen Grey, Blink and the Net. The shoes bared a great similarity to Jordan models as that is what the silhouette was originally based on.
Although fashion was very different back in 2009, there was at least something that Kanye still has today: the gift of all his products selling out. Three colourways released from April 2009 to June 2009 all sold out. This marked great success for the College Dropout rapper in the fashion industry.
Again, moving on three years to 2012, another collaboration between West and Nike was taking place. Again another Yeezy was to be released. This model was named the “Yeezy II”. This time around however, the shoe featured much more of an animalistic design than the original Air Yeezy, the Air Yeezy II possessed a ridged, reptile inspired heel counter and a snake skin inspired design on the quarters. The shoe, like the original Air Yeezy, borrowed technology from other Nike models. The Air Yeezy 2 borrowed its sole unit from the popular Nike Air Tech Challenge II tennis model. The shoe also features several references to Egyptian culture, featuring depictions of the god Horus on the tongue and insole, and using Egyptian hieroglyphics that spell out “YZY” under the Velcro strap with both models of the Nike Air Yeezy had. Again this model sold out instantly, the three colourways were the Yeezy II Solar Red NRG’s, Pure Platinum’s and the other colourway which was delayed by 2 years after arguing between West and Nike was finally released. It was a fully red shoe named just the Yeezy II however it was later dubbed the Red October. This is one of the rarest shoes of our time, fetching insane prices on the Internet and a pair of kicks we can only hope to get.
So, after the background details we go back to the question, what would of happened? Well, personally I don’t think it would of been as good as what Kanye is producing with adidas now. The reason kanye ended his contract with Nike in the first place was because they were not giving him enough freedom over his designs. In interviews West explained how the Yeezy 750 was what he really wanted to create with Nike. After comparing the 2 models, you can really see how much influence Nike forced over West’s product. Also Nike went on to offer Kanye crazy amounts to stay with the company after his products sold out instantly at every release which shows he really did care about the design.
If he did stay with Nike I don’t think that the Yeezy 950 or 350 would exist. Nike’s products with Kanye all had a heavy basketball theme and I don’t think Nike would change that which is why Kanye joining adidas was one of the best decisions he has made so far.