Looking at the Nike Air Yeezy 1 and the just released Nike Air Yeezy 2 side by side, it’s immediately evident that they come from the same lineage. The obvious similarities in shape, the mid-foot strap treatment, and the whole glow in the dark opulence lying underneath set up a clear bridge between these two entrances into the high end of collaborative Nike models. The climates the respective models arrived in weren’t quite so similar however, as the sneakerhead landscape changed quite a bit from the short span of the 2009 release of the first to last weekend’s debut of the second. Similarly the release approach was much more traditional, lineups and the occasional raffle here and there, where the second was forced to adjust after the looming threats on public safety posed by the ‘Galaxy’ business just a few months back.
The Nike Air Yeezy 1 was a bit more insular, a release seemingly driven to a much larger extent by the core sneakerhead crowd rather than the media at large. There was no heavy celebrity seeding (and obviously, no celebrity ‘Tweeting’ of their early pairs), no extensive CNN coverage building up to the moment, no fake $90,000+ auctions. Furthermore Kanye West himself was a bit of a different character back then, with the Nike Air Yeezy 1 more rooted in a history of sports footwear where the 2’s reflect his quick switch to the high-fashion houses right after, a trend played out in his lyrics and his on-going creative endeavors (recall the Louis Vuitton Pack that allegedly had Nike fuming).
Which of these two similar colorways of two separate sneakers in the Kanye West x Nike oeuvre will history be more kind to? At the moment the Nike Air Yeezy 2 ‘Black/Solar’ is a hotter commodity, with prices hovering around $2,000 on eBay whereas the ‘Black/Pink’ Nike Air Yeezy 1 only rose to that figure over the span of three years, but it will take some time before things level out and we can collectively look at them from a distance. There’s no doubt the sentimental attachment and historical signifance of the Nike Air Yeezy 1 will be unmatched for many, but there’s also the consideration of the Nike Air Yeezy 2 being that much harder to track down and arriving with a fervor much greater than before. We’re finishing off our 1 vs. 2 comparisons here with a detailed look at the Black/Pink and Black/Solar Red, so enjoy the gallery and let us know which of the two you like better!