A Brief Rundown of the Yeezy Empire

A Brief Rundown on the History of the Yeezy Empire From Nike To Adidas

August 15, 2020
Eleanor Davidson

Yeezy is a brand that needs no introduction. Founded in 2009 by superstar rapper Kanye West, the fashion line has experienced monumental success ever since. The first of his Yeezy ranges were with Nike before Kanye signed a deal with Adidas in 2013 which secured him 15% royalties on Yeezy shoe sales, whilst allowing him to maintain 100% ownership of his brand.

The rapper’s success with his Yeezy line has earned him comparisons to Michael Jordan, whose Air Jordan sneaker line with Nike is estimated to be valued at $10 billion dollars according to Forbes. And West is all too aware of these comparisons and is proud of the clout that it brings to his shoe line saying that his 2012 Air Yeezy 2 was the “first shoe to have the same level of impact as the Air Jordan”. Now, Adidas and Kanye have a Yeezy empire in their sights that rivals that of the Air Jordan.

The first ever Yeezy released in 2009 with Nike was the ‘Air Yeezy 1’ and came in colourways ‘Blink’ ‘Zen Grey’ and ‘Net Tan’. The Zen Grey colourway was particularly rare with only around 3,000 pairs of the shoes ever released. As a result, you can expect to pay upwards of £2,000 on StockX for a pair of the O.G Yeezys.

Nike Air Yeezy 1 Blink

Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red October

When Kanye took his Yeezy brand from Nike to Adidas in 2013, the brand continued to go from strength to strength. The first Adidas Yeezy shoe debuted in 2015 in the form of the Yeezy Boost 750 in colourways black and light brown. The Yeezy Boost 350 followed later that year featuring an Adidas patented Primeknit upper and retailed at $200. Over the years, the Yeezy Boost 350 has been released in a huge variety of colourways including Beluga, Zebra, Sesame and Desert Sage to name just a few.

Yeezy Boost 750 Triple Black

Yeezy Boost 350

The release of the Yeezy 950 Duck Boot saw the brand take a break from trainers and was one of the most expensive Yeezy releases retailing at $585. But it wasn’t long until trainers returned again in 2017 with the release of the Yeezy Boost 700 which has become an iconic silhouette in the Yeezy portfolio and is available in colourways including Hospital Blue, Salt and MNVN Orange.

Yeezy Boost 950 Moonrock

Yeezy Desert Boot Salt

Yeezy Powerphase Calabasas

Yeezy Boost 700 Wave Runner Solid

Yeezy Boost 700 V2 Hospital Blue

Arriving in 2018, the Yeezy 500 is one of the most recent additions to the Yeezy family and unlike some other styles, the colourways available for the 500 are much more muted and neutral and include shades such as Salt, Bone White and Soft Vision, a pale lilac colour which gives the 500s a more feminine appeal than other colours and silhouettes that have gone before it.

Yeezy Boost 500 Bone White

Yeezy Boost 380 Alien

Yeezy Boost 700 V3 Azael

The Yeezy Powerphase range feels like the black sheep of the Yeezy family and looks more like a standard, adidas Originals sneaker. Compared to the other stand-out, innovative Yeezy ranges, the Powerphase design is rather tame and a safe bet for those who usually feel intimated by Kanye’s other Yeezy designs.

2020 has so far seen releases of the Yeezy 350 in various colourways including ‘Yeshaya’ and ‘Marsh’ as well as new colourways in the Yeezy 700. Although the coronavirus pandemic may have thrown a spanner in the works, Yeezy fans can be rest assured that there are more releases on their way this year including the Yeezy QNTM, the Yeezy slide as well as new colour ways in the Yeezy 380, 350 V2 and 700 V3.

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