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  • These are Yeezys.

  • People have camped out at shoe stores, hired Taskers to wait in line on

  • their behalf and even used sneaker buying bots to nab a pair online before

  • they sell out in seconds.

  • Others spent thousands of dollars on the resale market.

  • The man behind that craze is Kanye West.

  • But recently, some of that excitement has turned to skepticism.

  • Are Yeezys dead?

  • Is Yeezy resale dead?

  • Is Yeezy still cool?

  • Certain Yeezy models cost a lot less on the resale market than they used

  • to, and resale prices are a telltale sign of a product's cachet,

  • especially for hypebeasts.

  • But it turns out, this is all part of West's grand plan for his sneaker

  • empire. Here's how West created one of the most hyped sneakers of all time

  • and the struggles he's facing trying to build the brand into a household

  • name. When I first got into sneakers back in middle school, into high

  • school, I just had this one pair of Adidas Superstars that I thought was

  • the end all be all. Then I remember scrolling through my Facebook timeline

  • and this beautiful red image of a pair of Kanye's Red October Nike

  • sneakers popped up on my feed, and that was the first time that I stopped

  • to look at a sneaker just from a purely piece of art point of view.

  • And I just thought to myself, wow, I need to find a way to get those.

  • Over the course of five years,

  • West and Nike released the Air Yeezy 1, the Air Yeezy 2 and the Air Yeezy

  • 2 Red Octobers.

  • Retailing at over $200, the shoes were released in extremely limited

  • quantities and sold out instantaneously.

  • They now resell in the thousands of dollars.

  • The success of the shoes finally put West on the map in the fashion

  • industry. For years, his designs were met with ridicule.

  • A lot of fashion gatekeepers tried to hold Kanye back by calling him a

  • clothing maker or saying that he wasn't a real designer.

  • Kanye West was really sort of passionate and desperate and really actually

  • thoughtful. He didn't want to just be sort of a celebrity fashion

  • designer. To break into the fashion industry,

  • West interned at Fendi in 2009, where he was paid about $500 a month.

  • In 2015, West even said he went $16 million in debt trying to get a

  • clothing line off the ground.

  • But no matter what he did, he still couldn't quite knock down those doors.

  • And so he took an alternative route through the sneaker world.

  • West says he was a speaker head as a kid, even though he didn't have the

  • money to buy the shoes he loved.

  • When I was in fourth grade, I was drawing Jordans when my mama couldn't

  • afford them. I was drawing those Jordans, getting kicked out of class for

  • drawing them. West got his start as a producer on Jay-Z's 2001 album, The

  • Blueprint. He hit it big as a hip hop artist after releasing his own

  • album, The College Dropout, in 2004.

  • Then West set his sights on another passion of hisfashion.

  • He even told a New York Fashion Week crowd in 2016 that his dream is to be

  • the creative director of Hermes.

  • While West had a difficult time getting people to buy into his clothing

  • designs, his shoes instantly clicked with fans.

  • The first pair of sneakers that really got me into sneaker collecting was

  • that pair of Red October Yeezys.

  • He articulated something in those sneakers that really resonated with me

  • without saying a word, of me not knowing anything about them.

  • That sneaker was the spark that cascaded the entire rest of everything you

  • see here over the past three plus years.

  • In Yeezy's first eight years or so, hype around the shoe was at its

  • strongest. Yeezy started as a partnership with Nike in 2009 before West

  • switched to working with Adidas in 2013.

  • During the Nike years and in the first few years of his partnership with

  • Adidas, customers went to great lengths to get their hands on a pair.

  • Any website you go to, Yeezys would probably sell out in like five

  • seconds. I've seen people camp for Yeezys in the dead cold winter.

  • I've seen people like have their little tents or whatever.

  • Or just bundled up in a lot of jackets or something.

  • Caleb Chen is one of many sneaker flippers cashing in on the Yeezys hype.

  • I bought the Bred V2 for about $220 and I've sold it for about $1,100 to

  • $1,200. But some of West's designs have been an acquired taste.

  • People have scratched their heads or recoiled at certain Yeezy models that

  • West released with Adidas, like the Yeezy Boost 700 Wave Runner, which

  • came out in 2017.

  • It drew comparisons to ugly dad shoes.

  • Everyone across the internet was just like, "Oh my God, what is this?

  • This is disgusting. Is this a joke?"

  • And I had all those same thoughts.

  • But thinking about the big picture, I said every other time people or

  • myself have thought that exact same thing about a sneaker Kanye has put

  • out, people eventually turn around and go, "Oh wow, I was wrong.

  • I wish I jumped on those sneakers when I had the chance."

  • But designing sneakers just for hypebeasts wasn't good enough for West.

  • That's why he ultimately left Nike for Adidas in 2013: more creative

  • freedom and to turn Yeezys into a household name.

  • West told BBC Radio in 2013 that he didn't want to be just another

  • celebrity with his name attached to a sneaker.

  • People didn't love the Yeezys the way they did for no reason.

  • Picture this. For me to do the Yeezys and not have a joint venture backing

  • deal with Nike the next day would have been like if I made Jesus Walks and

  • was never allowed to make an album.

  • West told Ryan Seacrest that he found the partner he was looking for in

  • Adidas. They offered to allow me to make an entire line and give me an

  • office and all these things I want to do just to create more.

  • The hype around Yeezys fueled West's ambition.

  • Except the more shoes he released, the less special they became.

  • If you look at somebody like Kanye West, he's truly one of the most

  • ambitious people

  • I think that we have seen in the past few decades.

  • Kanye West has called himself Walt Disney.

  • He's called himself Steve Jobs.

  • So we know that it's not just about a physical sneaker.

  • It's about when he is gone and we are talking about Kanye West, we don't

  • talk about just the music.

  • We talk about what he's created, what he's left us, his stamp on the

  • world. West wants his Yeezys legacy to go way beyond an expensive and

  • inaccessible shoe.

  • In fact, he wants quite the opposite.

  • West spoke with Ryan Seacrest in 2015.

  • This isn't about elitism.

  • This isn't about separatism.

  • This is about as many people being involved with this vision as possible.

  • Eventually, everybody who wants to get Yeezys will get Yeezys.

  • Adidas has promised me that because there's so many kids that have wanted

  • them, that couldn't get them.

  • And I talked to the heads at Adidas and they said we can make them.

  • Instead of demand for Yeezys being built on rarity and hype, West wants

  • everyone to be able to find and afford a pair of Yeezys and still want

  • them. Kind of like the Adidas Superstar, which are readily available at

  • their typical retail cost of $100 and under.

  • And it was the top selling sneaker in the United States in 2016.

  • The Superstar debuted in 1970.

  • To this day, it's still an iconic emblem of the Adidas brand.

  • However, the Superstar's popularity is cyclical and sales have declined in

  • the last couple years.

  • Now Adidas is betting on Kanye West and doubling down on Yeezys.

  • If the goal is to scale Yeezy into a multi-billion dollar brand, experts

  • say there's still a long way to go.

  • The Yeezy brand has a fundamental impact on our overall brand position.

  • But it's still in the bigger context of us being a $25 billion company,

  • you know, a small part of our company.

  • There were probably a million, maybe a million and a half Yeezys sold last

  • year in pairs in the United States and throughout the world.

  • Adidas made 400 million pairs of shoes last year.

  • A million pairs of Yeezys is really a drop in the ocean.

  • There is a reason why there are the numbers of shoes made by Adidas for

  • Yeezy. It's not because there's no factory space to build the shoes.

  • They simply are creating this artificial sense of scarcity.

  • When you think about it in that light, it really tells you that the

  • product can't be a larger story.

  • It has to be limited in what it brings.

  • In other words, demand for Yeezys just isn't strong enough to produce the

  • shoe in much larger quantities.

  • Nike and Adidas have never revealed how many Yeezys they release per drop.

  • But West said in 2015 that there were 9,000 pairs of his first Adidas

  • shoe, the Yeezy Boost 750.

  • He then boasted to Harper's Bazaar in 2016 that he was consistently

  • selling out 40,000 shoe drops in two minutes.

  • But Adidas was also dropping Yeezys less frequently back then.

  • The German sportswear company tested the extent of demand for Yeezys in

  • 2018 by restocking several popular Yeezy models in much larger quantities.

  • In September 2018 came the largest Yeezys drop ever.

  • There were rumors that over a million pairs of 350 V2 triple whites had

  • hit the market in what Adidas called its most democratic drop in Yeezy

  • history. West tweeted about the event, saying the release fulfills Yeezy's

  • democracy philosophy, but suddenly the shoes were lingering on shelves and

  • flooding the market with Yeezys cost the brand some of its cachet.

  • They did sell out, yes, but it took much longer than it had.

  • It wasn't selling out in hours.

  • The lines were lost.

  • And frankly, the sentiment that I saw on Twitter was pretty negative.

  • There was an attitude out there that Yeezy was over.

  • Yeezys tend to be dying.

  • Is Yeezy resale dead?

  • Do they not want them to be hype?

  • I remember going into a store and seeing them sitting on shelves.

  • Dude this whole Yeezy thing is quite possibly just like done.

  • By appealing more to the masses,

  • the Yeezy brand has alienated some of its initial fan base.

  • To a certain extent, I think Yeezys have lost some of its wow factor.

  • You start to think like oh man the chase isn't as there anymore because

  • more people can get the shoe. Scarcity is really important because

  • ultimately hypebeast and sneaker culture love to flex, they love to have

  • what the other person doesn't have.

  • That's all they operate inis essentially clout and bragging rights.

  • Today, buying and reselling certain models of Yeezys is a lot less

  • profitable than it once was.

  • Resale prices on many Yeezy models have plunged after a few re-releases of

  • the same shoe or releases of the same model of shoe in a slightly

  • different color. Once the resale price of a shoe reaches its original

  • retail price, it means supply has met demand.

  • It's become apparent about how many people really want Yeezys.

  • And to keep people wanting Yeezys, analysts say it's critical to make sure

  • supply stays behind demand.

  • The reasoning is simple.

  • When everybody can get one, nobody wants one.

  • Powell says Yeezy's staying power will be determined by how carefully

  • Adidas manages its Yeezys inventory.

  • It's really critical that brands don't try to grow too fast here.

  • It really takes a tremendous amount of strategic thinking and discipline

  • to build a brand around a celebrity.

  • Powell says Yeezys could look to Jordans as an example of how to grow a

  • brand while maintaining its cool factor.

  • After all, it took Nike three decades to build its iconic Jordan brand, a

  • collaboration between Nike and former NBA superstar Michael Jordan, into a

  • $3 billion business.

  • For years, the Jordan business grew about 10 percent a year because that's

  • all that Nike allowed to go into the marketwas about 10 percent more.

  • They could have put in 20 or 30 or 50 percent more and probably sold them

  • in the first year, but it would have been gone after that.

  • But Powell says Nike made a mistake when it flooded the market with too

  • many Jordans in 2017 and 2018.

  • The brand has lost its cachet.

  • Now, can they build it back?

  • Yes, but it will take years.

  • In 2019, Adidas has taken a step back.

  • CEO Kasper Rorsted told investors in May there won't be any significant

  • growth in the Yeezy business in fiscal year 2019.

  • Adidas won't be repeating another massive Yeezys drop in 2018.

  • Instead, the shoes are being released in more limited quantities

  • throughout the year. The goal is to rebuild hype around the brand.

  • Experts say it will be a long time before West can achieve his vision: a

  • sneaker that everyone wants and thinks is really cool, even if it's not

  • that hard to get.

These are Yeezys.

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Kanye West如何打造Yeezy(How Kanye West Built Yeezy)

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    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 05 月 27 日
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