Kanye West Clothing Line, Yeezy Season FACTS. Shoes, Fashion and the Latest on Kanye Adidas Yeezy Season
The Kanye West clothing line, Adidas Yeezy, has officially become a global multi-million dollar brand. Streetwear fans everywhere are joining in on the Yeezy Season hype. While it may seem as if Kanye West’s clothing line, Yeezy Season, was always one of the hottest streetwear collections, it was actually quite the opposite. In fact, Kanye West clothing was somewhat of an industry joke. Just ask Vogue editor in chief, Anna Wintour. Back in 2012 she shared a rather brief opinion. “Ask someone else,” she responded when asked her opinion on the first Kanye West clothing line. Unlike Kanye’s freshman album, The College Dropout, the artist’s first clothing drop was not a success. Quite frankly, the fashion industry was ice cold.
Then, something changed. Kanye West’s clothing line transitioned from a pop-culture joke to a sold-out, international apparel and footwear brand. Even more remarkably, Kanye himself, rose to become one of the most influential style icons of the 21st century. Let’s travel back and look behind the hype as we walk the long road to uncovering the Kanye West Adidas Yeezy Season empire.
Yeezy and the First Kanye West Shoes
It was 2004, and 23-year old producer Kanye West had just soared to number 2 on the Billboard charts with his debut single, The College Dropout. Soon after came hit singles Through the Wire, Slow Jamz and Jesus Walks. It was a hell of a debut. Leveraging the album’s success, Kanye makes his first public attempt at a fashion collaboration in 2005. Armed with a recent Grammy win, West shares two shocking business announcements. He reveals that he’s launching his own record label, G.O.O.D. music and that he’s pregnant with his first child: fashion label Pastelle. “Now that I have a Grammy under my belt and ‘Late Registration’ is finished, I am ready to launch my clothing line next spring,” he shared.
Spring came and went without any sign of West’s supposed label. Eventually everyone forgot about it. It wasn’t until two years later that Kanye would show any progress toward the promise of a Kanye West clothing line. However, it wan’t a clothing line, but footwear. Teaming up with leading streetwear brand of the moment Bape (A Bathing Ape), the duo reveal the Bape x Kanye West College Dropout Bapesta. The shoe was an update to the brand’s popular Bapesta style now featuring West’s college dropout bear visual.
Kanye West and the Nike Air Yeezy
Although, the industry now doubted the Through the Wire rappers promise of a Kanye West clothing line, Kanye decides on a different approach. In 2009, Kanye West, a multi-million dollar, award-winning artists decides to become a fashion intern. However, Yeezy didn’t just fetch coffee for any fashion brand. West lent his services to Italian luxury fashion house, Fendi. Of course Kanye wasn’t your average intern. We are talking about Yeezus here. In fact, he claims to have created one of the brands most popular trends at the time, leather jogging pants. While Kanye never officially received credits for any contributions at Fendi, the experience seemed to add to his growing understanding of the fashion industry.
Shortly after, Mr. West got another major break teaming up with Nike for the Nike Air Yeezy Sneaker. The deal was groundbreaking, representing the first non-athlete full collaboration for the Nike brand in its 45 year history. First released on April 9, 2009 at a suggested retail price of $215, the Kanye Nike Air Yeezy 1 sneaker sold out immediately. Thus, officially birthing the Yeezy hype. Kanye and Nike then followed up introducing two new color-ways, Black/Pink and Net. However, Kanye didn’t stop there.
Kanye West x Louis Vuitton
Next up, West enters his first high-fashion collaboration, teaming up with Louis Vuitton for another sneaker drop. This time around, West must prove his understanding of a new demographic, luxury fashion. Together, Yeezy and the French fashion house produced a series of streetwear infused luxury sneakers named after Kanye’s childhood friends. The Kanye West x Louis Vuitton collab, included exclusive styles Jasper and the Don retailing for $870-$1140. The collab was a success and if you want to get your hands on a pair of Jaspers or the Dons today, be prepared to pay upwards of $10,000 pair on ebay.
Louis Vuitton x Kanye West ‘the Dons’
Louis Vuitton x Kanye West ‘Jasper’
Failure and the First Kanye West Clothing Line
Now with a handful of successful footwear collaborations behind him, Kanye West again attempts to shift gears toward apparel. In a surprising announcement, West reveals the debut of an upcoming Kanye West clothing line focusing on womenswear, simply titled Kanye West. The industry was primed and after years of buzz, it appeared that Kanye was finally following through. However, for many, the idea of Kanye West and women’s fashion was confusing. Sure, the Air Yeezys were cool as was his Louis Vuitton collab. Actual fashion show at Paris Fashion Week, however, was a whole new level for the College Dropout rapper. Adding to the Yeezy hype, West’s big debut was a part of one of the most prestigious events in fashion, Paris Fashion Week.
The first look of Kanye West Season 1 entered the runway on October 1, 2011. However, it didn’t happen quite how Yeezy imagined. The collection was swiftly greeted with industry-wide criticism. An aspect that he reveals he knew was a reality. “The biggest hurdle I had to face is the celebrity designer or the hip-hop designer concept,” he shared before the show. Critics disagreed, many citing much bigger problems for the freshman fashion designer.
It’s all Tough Love for Kanye West Clothing
The New York times shared a scathing review of the collection Published with the title ‘Kanye West, Designer (Yawn)’, the actual content wasn’t much more forgiving. “His debut landed him a place somewhere in the middle: not quite a disaster, but not the work of a serious designer, either.” Even Vogue, the fashion bible itself, wasn’t impressed. “But tonight’s show suggests that conquering his new medium is a work in progress,” the publication shared. It appeared that the idea of a Kanye West clothing line was a failure.
Despite the criticism, West manages to stay resolute and travels back to the drawing board. Over a year later in 2013, Yeezy finally shows some progress. Instead of focusing on his eponymous Kanye West clothing line, he announces the launch of a small capsule collaboration with French clothing brand A.P.C. Soon after the official drop of the Kanye West x A.P.C. collection, the entertainer prepares for what was to become his most pivotal partnership ever.
Kanye West x Adidas Yeezy Season 1
Kanye West and Adidas officially teamed up on December 3, 2013. However, the newfound Kanye West shoes and clothing collaboration didn’t produce its first product until over a year later. But as we’ve come to learn with Kanye West, there is a certain method to the madness. Although, at that the time popular opinion certainly didn’t lean in Yeezy’s favor. After a rather well-received second collaboration with A.P.C., West faced a new battle.
It was February 12, 2015 and Kanye West was one of the most controversial figures in pop-culture. Still recovering from a maelstrom of press after his very public on-stage statements to Grammy winner Taylor Swift, Kanye enters his first New York Fashion Week. Tensions were high as were the stakes. However, this time around his attempt at a Kanye West clothing line took on a new direction. Redefining the idea of a traditional runway show, Kanye brings a sense of performance. Though the collection didn’t solely rest on the entertainment showmanship of West.
To the surprise of many, Kanye’s Adidas Yeezy Season 1 proved to be a diverse fashion collection offering modern, mens and womens clothing and shoes. The lineup consisted mostly of activewear inspired separates with an affinity toward streetwear. Unlike the Kanye West Season 1 showing in Paris years earlier, West seemed to show a newfound understanding of design. Yeezy Season 1 was free of the over-embellishments that hindered him prior. Instead we saw a much cleaner, well-edited aesthetic that managed to feel relaxed yet fashionable.
Kanye West x Yeezy Boost 750
A few days later, the first Yeezy shoe was born, the Adidas Yeezy Boost 750. Making waves across the globe, Kanye’s limited batch of 9000 Yeezy Boost’s sold out in only 10-minutes. Later that summer on June 27, 2015, Kanye adds to his new Yeezy family introducing the Yeezy Boost 350. Picking up where he left off, West debuts Yeezy Season 2 at New York Fashion week the following Season. Soon after, the second version of the Yeezy Boost 750 launched, complete with a phosphorescent glow in the dark sole. Ambition proved valuable for West as he ended the year with a surprise Shoe of the Year win at the Footwear News 29th Annual Achievement Awards.
Kanye West x Pablo x Adidas Yeezy Season 3
2016 was all about The Life of Pablo for Kanye West. Building off the hype of fans and the growing success of the Adidas Yeezy brand, West plans something really special for his next show. On February 11, Kanye debuts Yeezy Season 3 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Packing the venue with over 18,000 guests and 12,000 on-stage extras, Kanye offers a joint debut of The Life of Pablo album alongside fashion and footwear collection, Yeezy Season 3. The reaction from critics was perhaps the best yet, with many applauding West for pulling off the massive production. Fans also showed that they were still on board flocking to the newly released Adidas Yeezy Season 3 sneaker, the Yeezy Boost 350 V2.
Kanye West Clothing, Shoes and the Future of Adidas Yeezy
The Adidas x Kanye West collaboration proved to be more valuable than anyone imagined. In 2016, with 3 Adidas Yeezy Seasons under his belt, the entertainer takes his Adidas-backed Kanye West clothing line to a whole new level. Rewriting their original $10 million deal inked back in 2014, Adidas announces, ‘adidas x KANYE WEST,’ a collection of footwear, apparel and accessories. The German based athletic wear giant cites the relationship as “the most significant partnership ever created between a non-athlete and an athletic brand.” Building off the existing Adidas Yeezy family hype, the new deal extends the relationship promising a wider assortment of merchandise and soon to come Yeezy popup shops and retail locations. Based on current market conditions and trends, the Kanye West x Adidas partnership is estimated to be worth close to $1Billion.
Now, 10 years after announcing the dreams of a Kanye West clothing line, Kanye proves that the joke was always on the naysayers. Following a Yeezy Season 4 attended by the likes of Vogue’s, Anna Wintour, to fellow Adidas collaborator, Pharrell Williams, and Public School designer, Dao-Yi Chow, the Yeezy hype is at an all time high. Not to mention the constant buzz always looming around his very famous wife and muse Kim Kardashian. It’s hard to exactly say what’s next for Kanye West’s Adidas Yeezy. One thing we know for sure is: Yeezy, Yeezy, Yeezy, I feel so accomplished. I done talked a lot of shit but I just did the numbers. Herzog and Adidas, man you know they love it. Facts.