The Full History of Yeezy Sneakers

The Yeezy brand is globally renowned for being at the forefront of fashion, it stands as a manifestation and ode to Kanye West’s fashion taste, named after the rapper himself. It saw the rapper and entrepreneur become a groundbreaking fashion designer and one of the most influential icons of modern-day.

In the past, he had continually prided himself in not needing a stylist with quotes from his music such as: “I don’t see why I need a stylist / When I shop so much I can speak Italian.” - Champion, 2007. Kanye had continually broken the mould and sought to challenge any box that people put him in while trendsetting on a global level.

 

Kanye West performing in Sweden in 2011
Editorial Credit: Carl Bjorklund / Shutterstock
 

Kanye’s Inspiration

He began his foray into the sneaker industry when he collaborated with Bape on their Bapesta sneaker in 2007, which was the start of a long and successful journey that wasn’t without moments of crisis.

Kanye credited Guiseppe Zanotti for teaching and guiding him in the art of shoemaking in Zanotti’s factory in San Mauro Pascoli, Italy. Zanotti taught Kanye to make items ranging from snakeskin bags to boots. 

 

Yeezy x Nike

In April 2009, Kanye’s collaboration with Nike was released, the Air Yeezy 1. It was released in 3 colourways, grey, black and tan. They retailed for $215 and sold out immediately. Kanye’s collaboration with Louis Vuitton dropped soon after, further solidifying him within fashion industry circles.

After the famous Taylor Swift debacle at the VMAs, Kanye and his friend Virgil Abloh (now CEO and Founder of Off-White & Artistic Director of men’s wear at Louis Vuitton) travelled to Italy, where Kanye interned at Fendi. Although this internship supposedly ended badly, it was another notch in the belt for Kanye’s fashion reputation.

Then in 2012, the Air Yeezy 2 dropped. It was released in two separate colourways, Platinum and Black Solar Red. These sneakers retailed for $250 and supposedly only 1,500 pairs were ever made. This release was received incredibly well by designers and consumers alike. Kanye had previously worn them on stage in live performances and drummed up an incredible amount of hype. Fans used to be able to submit pictures of themselves in their Air Yeezys to Kanye’s now inactive website.

 

Air Yeezy 2 Red October
Editorial credit: Shutterstock


Yeezy x Nike Dispute

The Nike Air Yeezy was a success, it would routinely sell out immediately and became a very sought after range. However, Kanye’s contract with Nike quickly soured as he felt he deserved far more than Nike was providing. Nike hadn’t provided royalties for each pair of sneakers sold and had no solid plans for his ongoing contract regarding release dates. A particular release date, the one of the Air Yeezy 2 Red October was a point of contention between the artist and Nike.

Yeezy x Adidas

Thus, Nike’s era of Yeezy was over. In late 2013 the partnership of Kanye and Adidas was announced. The transition from swoosh to three stripes was to only make the Yeezy line all the more famous.

In 2014, Nike suddenly released the Air Yeezy 2 Red October, and that was the last of the Air Yeezys for good. The Red Octobers are a highly sought after pair of sneakers, with recent re-sales reaching over £8,000.

The Adidas Yeezy Boost 750s hype was legendary, from sneak peeks from people behind Kanye on commercial flights to Kanye casually wearing his unreleased sneakers to high profile events, he masterfully had the sneaker world begging for the release.

In February 2015 the Yeezy Boost 750 dropped and was immediately sold out. The unique suede grey-white high-tops were a limited release, but Kanye assured that he’d release enough Yeezys that everyone would be able to get a pair. They released in separate colourways in December 2015 and June 2016.
 

The Yeezy Boost 350

The most infamous of Kanye’s Yeezy Boost range, the Yeezy Boost 350 dropped in June 2015 at $200 retail price. The “Turtle Dove” paved the way for a range that would dominate sneaker sales worldwide. The “Pirate Black” Yeezy Boost 350 released in August 2015. The 350s were released in “Moonrock” in November 2015 and “Oxford Tan” in December of the same year

In 2015, the Yeezy Boost 350 won the title of Shoe of the Year at the Footwear News Annual Achievement Awards. 

The Yeezy Boost 350 has seen several changes, and with V3 recently announced and teased in classic Kanye fashion, the hype is building as it has in the past. 

To read more into Yeezy Sneaker releases from past to present with original release dates, check out the table below.

 

Sneaker

Colourway

Release Date

Yeezy Boost 750

Grey-White

14/02/2015

Yeezy Boost 350

Turtle Dove

27/06/2015

Yeezy Boost 350

Pirate Black

22/08/2015

Yeezy Boost 350

Moonrock

14/11/2015

Yeezy Boost 750

Black

19/12/2015

Yeezy Boost 350

Oxford Tan

29/12/2015

Yeezy Boost 750

Light Brown

15/06/2016

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Beluga

25/09/2016

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Black Friday - Red Core

23/11/2016

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Black Friday - Black Green

23/11/2016

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Black Friday - Black Copper

23/11/2016

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Black/White - "Oreo"

13/12/2016

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Black/Red - "Bred"

11/02/2017

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Black/White/Red - "Zebra"

25/02/2017

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Triple White/Cream

29/04/2017

Yeezy Boost 700

Wave Runner

01/11/2017

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Semi Frozen Yellow - "Yebra"

18/11/2017

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Beluga 2.0

25/11/2017

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Blue Tint

16/12/2017

Yeezy 500

Blush

16/02/2018

Yeezy 500

Super Moon Yellow

09/06/2018

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

"Butter"

30/06/2018

Yeezy 500

Utility Black

07/07/2018

Yeezy Boost 700

Mauve

27/10/2018

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Black/White/Red - "Zebra" 2.0

16/11/2018

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Sesame

23/11/2018

Yeezy 500

Salt

30/11/2018

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Static

27/12/2018

Yeezy Boost 700 V2

Static

29/12/2018

Yeezy Boost 700

Inertia

09/03/2019

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Hyperspace

16/03/2019

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Trfrm

16/03/2019

Yeezy Boost 700 V2

Geode

23/03/2019

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Clay

30/03/2019

Yeezy Boost 700

Analog

27/04/2019

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Glow

25/05/2019

Yeezy Boost 700 V2

Vanta

06/06/2019

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Black

07/06/2019

Yeezy Boost 700 V2

Tephra

16/06/2019

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Antlia

22/06/2019

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Synth

22/06/2019

Yeezy Boost 700

Utility Black

29/06/2019

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Lundmark

13/07/2019

Yeezy 500

Bone White

24/08/2019

Yeezy Boost 700 V2

Inertia

07/09/2019

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Cloud White

21/09/2019

Yeezy Boost 350 V2

Citrin

26/09/2019

Yeezy Boost 350 V3

Alien

December TBC

Yeezy Boost 350 V3

Black

December TBC

 

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Yeezy Boost 700
Editorial Credit: Moma Ogko / Shutterstock