The Impact of Celebrity Partnerships With Sneaker Brands by John Kim 55 Comments
November 21, 2013 BY John Kim / 84
An alluring discussion surrounding hip-hop and style icon Kanye West and the state of his partnership with athletic outfitter Nike has risen rather abruptly. Things between Yeezy and the Swoosh seemed to be rather copacetic, but it turns out that the relationship, based on what’s been going on recently with the Yeezus tour and West’s public appearances and radio interviews, is much rockier than initially perceived. Kanye revealed in an interview with Philadelphia’s WIRED 96.5 radio station that he signed a deal with a major company that would allow him a much broader line of footwear that would be more accessible, and a complete apparel line to boot. Basically, the deal gives Kanye much more control than what Nike ever offered him, and sadly to say, we may be near the end of the Nike Air Yeezy. But is that as unfortunate as it sounds?
The first Air Yeezy debuted in April of 2009. The sneaker was instantly one of the most coveted sneakers in recent memory amidst a string of lackluster Nike Basketball signature shoes and the like; it took the Beaverton brand on an unexplored tangent into the realm of non-athlete signature sneakers, and managed to hook the single most influential figure in pop culture. Without question, Nike has been the brand of choice for style icons for decades, but it had never completed an actual signature or even an endorsed shoe of Yeezy status with a non-athlete, so green-lighting the Air Yeezy, despite its high probability of success, was not the easiest of decisions for the Swoosh to make.
Kanye’s recent rants prove that notion; he claims to have had very little creative control with Nike and wasn’t given much opportunity beyond the Air Yeezy shoe, and even notes that Nike CEO Mark Parker could not understand why the shoe was such a popular item. But Nike’s success has always been (and continues to be) driven by functional innovation and next-level design, and the truth is that Air Yeezy owns only one of those key descriptions; it’s an incredible shoe that never found a place on an athletic platform. With that thought it mind, it may be possible that Nike put an expiration date on the Air Yeezy line when it moved forward with the concept. Was it more of a fun experiment rather than the start of a new an “innovative style” category, regardless of success or fail?
What we do know is that Kanye, as he mentioned in the interview, signed a deal with a major company that would allow him to produce footwear as well as a line of apparel, and we obviously know that company is not Nike. Rumors have adidas coming into the fray (specifically under the Y-3 label) – a brand partnership that actually makes sense considering the German brand (and Nike’s primary global competitor) has depended on the help of hip-hop celebrities (Big Sean, A$AP Rocky, etc.) and designers (James Bond, Rick Owens, Mark McNairy, etc.) alike. West certainly is a complete mix of both, and with adidas struggling against Nike in American markets, adding him on the design route rather than the celebrity co-sign would give both parties what they individually want, and would be rather fruitful once production hits the markets.
But let’s keep things a bit more current. Kanye’s Yeezus Tour, which has gripped the music world, has had a titillating sub-plot – the Red Air Yeezy 2. Rumors upon rumors of the release have proven to be untrue, but various circles have tied it to the the tour on some level. While nothing’s surfaced yet, we do know that Kanye has chosen not to wear the Red Air Yeezy 2 in recent dates, although we don’t know if that’s a deliberate choice rather than going with something more suitable for the stage set. He’s been openly critical of Nike and its handling of his Yeezy line, claiming it wanted to keep it as small as possible, but clearly he’s airing out his displeasure in the biggest way possible.
Let’s also not forget that Kanye, generally speaking, will not react well to demands, and based on his unhappiness with the Oregon brand, he was likely told “no” on a few occasions. Is Kanye getting the final word by leaving Nike and potentially jumping ship to adidas? What if in some wild scenario, Kanye held a deal with both companies at the same time? We’ll keep you updated once official word rises (and that should be soon, according to West), but let’s hear your thoughts on the idea of Kanye and Nike parting ways.
Image: Daily News
In this interview with Philadelphia’s WIRED 96.5, Kanye West reveals that he has signed a deal with a major company that will allow him a lot more creative control with footwear and apparel. (Jump to 1:30)–
During last night’s Yeezus show at the Barclay’s Center, Kanye West confirms the deal and states “Mark Parker (Nike CEO) talking s***.” (Jump to 7:00)
Filed under: Air Yeezy
I keep coming back to this because it's all so got damn funny. Really, I don't think half these debates even have anything to do with the question posed at the end of the article anymore.
What a joke and so like the Nike Hypebeast brand and it's customers. Take the blinders off and realize that many of you are idolizing a brand and music that is force fed to you by the media and the hype. In other words, for the most part, if your main deal is Nike is thee brand and Kanye is so great....then you are among the masses and the main stream.....there really is nothing unique about you.
If it's not enough that this self called genius is emulating Lady Gaga with his masks, then you have his most recent tour where he uses a projection unit with messages that have no meaning, and you have the fans saying " how deep"...what a joke! Then...how can we ever forget the Taylor Swift episode....which then brings to mind the TMZ clip where he bangs his head on a sign...talk about karma.
Back to the shoes...why would Kanye get a line with Adidas under the Y-3 label?....that's Yohji Yamamoto...that would be a travesty. While it would make sense to guess that he will be going to Adidas, I am hoping that it doesn't happen although it would be a slap in the face to Nike.
The funny thing is when Kanye finally releases a shoe that people actually have a chance of buying, all these hypebeast dick riders won't even want it unless it super limited
Word is he is going to Adidas! But more importantly guess this means no "Red Octobers. No wonder they kept holding it back
fine with me, now these shyts can be way easier to get...less limited, hopefully they look just as good as the 2's or better
Fuck kanye, dude is a moron. Trys way to hard to be labeled as a "creative" motherfucker just be humble and do you! Stop worrying about what others think, and KANYE has NOTHING to do with changing the everyday lives of being "creative" what the HELL has he done thats so CREATIVE!?! WHAT LOGO DID HE DO? WHAT BUSINESS DID HE DESIGN THE BRAND IDENTITY FOR!? NOTHING. KANYE IS A LAME WANNA BE A HOLE WITH ZERO TALENT BUT 100% HYPE!
He's full of shit, but he's right about some stuff; the positive stuff! The other shit about him being the most important in the last 10 years is arrogant and pompous! He's right about how people should like themselves but he is not on Steve Jobs level and will never be he can never make anything that useful!
Lots of people are saying that Y-3s are to expensive. Yes they are between 300-500 $. but I would pay 500 for any pair of Yeezys, problem is they are so limited their actually value is closer to $2000. If his shoes were wider released at a higher price, there wouldn't be the resale markup that no one can afford. I can save up a couple hundred for shoes, I cant get 2k for some Yeezys right now.
Maybe he should sign with Supra and validate the whole 'Oh the Skytop IV's look like Yeezys' comments lol.
'Leaving Nike' is he signed? is he an employee? I thought the Yeezy was a collab, did kanye "leave" louis vuitton? Kanye got his money right, you can't tell him nothin'
Candy ass rappers. Tupac would have called all those punk bitches out. And he would have been correct to do so. Let them write more songs about thier planes and chains. Who gives a fuck. Niggas don't know what real flossin is anyway.
People calm down Eminem , JayZ , Nas and that stupid fucking asshole 3000 all suck major dick as far as music goes. Pussies wouldn't make a pimple on a real rappers ass. There about as good a rappers as they put on tampons. Assholes period and so are the people who buy thier shitty music.
I don't care who you are, what you think, whether you like Kanye or not. The man is a creative genius. He has garbage music, as well as amazing music that will go down in history. His shoes are cool, but overpriced and over hyped, but that's never been his fault, that's society's and Nike's fault. Whether you see him as a legend now or not, he's famous as fuck. He will go die a legend if he's not already living as one. I don't really care that he's leaving Nike, and I think him moving on to Y-3 can only be for the better since he will have freedom. If the new shit he puts out (clothing/shoe-wise) is dope, you, me and everyone else will buy it. If it's whack, I won't you won't, but all the Kanye dickriders and reselling beasts will, and when it seems like everyone wants it, everyone will want it. I know I'm kind of all over the place, but there's so much I wanna say lmao.
Most of these comments are way off subject. Am I on a sneaker site that asked the everyone's input as to Kanye leaving Nike or a debate over how talented or irrelevant we find him or his slut of a wife. Everyone who likes his work and is comparing him to legends of hip hop should be ashamed of themselves for even entertaining that idea. I'm sure mostly everyone who has those ideas are some youngsters and immature individuals. This generations hip hop or their take on it is utterly sad and consists of mainly grown men rapping about expensive fabrics, car's, shoes, not to mention how they also talk about dope selling, robbing, killing in a glorified manner. The actual legends are rolling over in their graves and shaking their heads at this nonsense called music currently. Only song this man has that is relevant is Jesus walks. Society has changed for the worst and current hip hop is a prime example of the lack of creative bodies of work. Mind you I'm only 26 year's young and have the intellectual ability to know what great music consists of. As for Kanye leaving Nike it's all for the best his arrogance and big head conceited ways are leading to his downfall. All he speaks or should I say rants about is major fashion labels shunning his ideas and how rappers are the new Rock stars. Sad how self absorbed he's become but all y'all dedicated fans keep buying his work if thats what makes you happy in life. Everyone needs a role model or star to look up to. I'm just glad that I got common sense to make better decisions in my life.
@Old Head 1 Steve jobs has never made anything useful either. He just rode the way of hypebeasts buying anything shiny with an apple on the back. The truly important innovators usually die without anyone ever noticing.
@don dada23 in all honesty you care enough to click & comment
@Memphislee69 Oh yeah, like Tupac was really the voice of reason, and then is someone that people should emulate....riiiiiiiiiigghhht.
Kanye is incredibly smart, and waaayyy more savvy than Tupac ever was, thus Tupac not being here to be able to even suggest anything to anyone. He was an idiot that contributed to his own demise.
@Memphislee69 So do you just want attention or are you just one of the most mentally retarded fucks on the face of the planet? Lmao.
@isaacdexx Dude please. I hate backpackers. The first majorly popular rap song was by the sugarhill gang. Guess what they rapped about? Women, cars, and clothes. Fun party rap has always been right beside afrocentric positivity. Go listen to some Immortal Technique, Kendric Lamar, etc and stop complaining about something that doesn't exist. Who are these "legends" that you speak of anyway? Even KRS One did some rachet music.
Gtfoh you Kanye dick riding hypehoe.. go purchase more of his incredible albums and magnificent shoes. Sure your a ignorant nigger with your first way to insult somebody is to pull the race card. Can't wait to hear your next insightful comments or reply to me I'm sure it's very compelling and ooze's of profound knowledge.. lmfao
@FutureTomorrow_ @lildwell @Old Head 1 Guess what... He never designed or coded anything. He was an advertiser. Who made the apple 2 that changed computing??? The woz. Steve Wozniak. Who made the first GUI? Xerox did. Apple didn't touch it. They just bought it and slapped it on their os. And OSX is just a reskinned version of Linux with all of the access to the actual OS taken away. He never came up with any original idea PERIOD. Meanwhile the guy that wrote the C# coding language, the coding language that is used by OSX, IOS, major parts of Linux, Windows, and has been used over the past 2 decades of computing passes and no one even cares. Im not saying he isnt great. He could take a shit in a ziplock bag, put a logo on it, and convince millions of people that they need this "revolutionary" and "artistic" new item. But he did create and ride the wave of the "Hypebeast" community.
@Memphislee69 the type of nigga to wear team jordans
Believe me when I say you would never speak to me in person like that. Also believe me when I say rappers today suck major dick. When you aquire the knowledge I have aquired then you might not have to try and derog on my opinion. You little punk ass kid.
@Memphislee69 Haha, you're rather amusing. You sir, are quite the comedian. A genius even. Wow, 1992, huh? You must be so wise! :O And you make money by breaking boys' balls? I didn't know there was money in the molestation business, but whatever puts food on the table I suppose...
Got out of school in 92. So You stay in school and I will keep making money and breaking your little balls. SON.
@Memphislee69 You're* Stay in school, bud.
@Memphislee69 You gave enough fucks to reply to me. :D That's a win in my book.
Figured that someone would stand up and say that good stands for this or that. If that's the case G.O.O.D for him. I can care less most these idiots stand up for this motherfucker like he's paying their mortgage or car note. He's full of himself and all his fans are full of shit. All these chumps are brain fucked by mainstream media what's the point of speaking facts about how arrogant or self absorbed he is. All y'all media whores don't give two fucks as I don't and know plenty will continue to ride the Kanye hypehoe bandwagon to the depths of hell. Have a nice time following this fuck who thinks he's the new God. Now y'all can worship in peace and pay homage to your almighty HypeLord..amen
@isaacdexx G.O.O.D. is an acronym buddy! So most of your comment is flawed
This coming from a fuck named childish. The irony is this so called great legendary rapper that's not intelligent enough to name his label great music or legendary music just good music says it all. If I'm called white trash first I didn't pull a race card first you fucking imbecile. I'm a grown man and don't hide behind no keyboard to respond to these dimwitted trash rap fan's. I can handle myself or any of these weak retarded ass lames who think Kanye West is anything other than a self absorbed, arrogantly carried individual who thinks the world revolves around himself and his whore of a wife. This legend y'all speak of embraces the fact that "my girl getting paid off her home movie". Proudly rapping about it like it wasn't Ray J who tapped that and made her a so called star. He's so lost in himself he probably believe's he's the one who was the one in the movie with his confused self. But who's to argue with what society looks up to as stars and great music . Obviously it's not this man since, as I stated above names his music label good music.
Aha I'm supposed to give insightful comments on a web page about 250$ shoes lmfao. And I'm white by the way, white trash doesn't mean that white people are trash, it's a certain type of inbread racist trailer fucks who happen to be white.
How bout u jus go away u racist fuck... All of ur comments are either off base or racist.... Fuckin bigoted, ignorant idiot
@isaacdexx Oh the irony of this poor misguided racist bastard of a fool. You hypocrite. How do you have the balls to to talk about someone pulling the race card right away when your first insult is ignorant nigger? Smh. These cats are might bold behind the keys these days.
The Impact of Celebrity Partnerships With Sneaker Brands by John Kim 55 Comments