If you are into sneakers at all, you would be aware of the secondary reseller market and how Yeezy resales have been underwhelming. Makes you wonder if Yeezys are not cool any more!
Is it too far fetched to say that the most coveted line by Adidas has lost it’s hype?
During his time with adidas, Kanye has built a steady portfolio of sneakers that were driven by scarcity. Regardless of their high sticker price. But there is a very evident shift, in consumer emotions around the Yeezy line by Adidas. What was once the most sought-after sneaker with people lining up for 48 hours, is now easily accessible and sells for a meagre 10-15 dollars over retail price these days. Sometimes, they even sit on shelves for a couple of hours, if not days.
I had written about how I would stop buying Yeezy sneakers a long time ago here in this article. While that article was because of his political inclinations and the innumerable pairs that kept dropping, I also has to put a pause on my buying because of how expensive these sneakers are. However, I really did love some of his designs and new innovations and picked up a pair of each of the newer silhouettes. But for some reason, they did not appeal to me as much as the earlier models did.
I must make it clear though, I don’t chase hype. I will buy a pair of sneakers, regardless of their aftermarket price/value. I have picked up Jordan 1s as recently as in 2019 from discount shelves.
Here’s some of the reasons why I think Yeezys are losing their clout.
- Too many releases/drops: If a sneaker’s success rides on its scarcity, then this is being played all wrong by Kanye West and Adidas. Look at Jordan 1 for instance, which is right now again at a peak. Earlier on, the releases were paced out to the extent of them dropping once every 7-8 years, till they recently began doing multiple colorways and collabs.
But Kanye had made a promise, Yeezys for everyone! And true to his word, literally anyone and everyone around now has a pair of Yeezys.
- Too many pairs per drop: Yeezys are so commonplace also because quantities have increased. Regardless of the multiple available color options and frequent drops, the stock quantity has also increased. What used to earlier be limited to geographies and exclusive stores, is now a wider release. The more recent 350 V2 Natural had a crazy size run not just on the Adidas website here in India, but also at their stores + on a couple other sneaker stores. And although all pairs likely sold out, there’s a high probability a reseller is holding on to stock that he would eventually have to let go at under or close to retail.
- Too expensive: Buying a pair of Yeezys isn’t Childs play considering the sticker price. I mean sure, in recent times the prices have been revised. But they still set you back by quite a bit. And with so many back-to-back drops, monetary fatigue is also bound to set in.
- Repetitive colourways/Unpopular colour blocking: There was a time when every 350 was so far apart from its predecessors in colorway or text alignment. But in the last 18 months, I can barely tell them apart, let alone remember each of their names. And when the consumers complained about similar colorways, Kanye went into a tangent of unpopular color blocking. As seen on the Blue Oat 380, or for me personally the Arzareth 700 V3.
- Fading magic of Kanye: None of the new models have really taken off. Except for the Foam Runner (and I am eager to get my hands on a pair)! The 380 (except the Alien), the 700 V3 (except the Azael), the QNTM (except the QNTM) have all bombed. 380s seldom sell out, and resellers got stuck with a lot of stock. The 700 V3 goes for close to retail. And the QNTM just bombed, despite the initial hype around the pair! I attribute this to the lack of Kanye co-signing his own pairs. Back in the day, the first time you would see any potential Yeezy would be on the feet of Mr. West himself. Either at a studio visit or around Calabasas. These days, the first time we see a pair is usually at a reseller store or from a Chinese replica maker. There are very few pairs, like the QNTM for instance, that are first seen on Kanye’s west. Couple that with his switch to ultra spirituality, with even his sneakers deriving names from the Bible, I think he has lost some of his crowd.
OR did Kanye West just outsmart the resellers?
Because why would Adidas or Kanye reduce the number of pairs, if they all sell out? It’s good business turnover for now, unless you took a hit on your profits from reselling. And are salty, like us folks who struggle to get retail pairs.
These are in no way educated data points. All I have said are personal opinions only. So don’t come at me. Having said that, always up for a healthy debate.
All images shot on iPhone.