February 4, 2014 BY Aaron Kr. / 47
After some not-so-subtle comments were dropped by Kanye West during a string of late 2013 tour dates and interviews, it became very evident that there was trouble in paradise and the relationship between him and Nike was on the rocks at best. After revealing on a Philadelphia radio show that he had signed a deal with a major brand, the rumors immediately began to swirl that West would be leaving the Swoosh for the Three Stripes. It didn’t take long from there for the adidas partnership to be officially confirmed – an announcement that sent shockwaves through the sneaker landscape and raised all sorts of questions over what would become of the feverishly anticipated “Red October” Air Yeezy 2.
While it was still in question whether or not the shoes would actually release long before the adidas scenario came about, West’s departure from Nike appeared to spell doom for any kind of retail drop, and it seemed safe to assume that the Kanye x Nike era had prematurely come to its end with unfinished business still left on the table. We had been hearing about the possible release of a third Yeezy 2 colorway for going on two years now, and while it was eventually the tonal red pair that seemed best poised to fit that bill, there were a small handful of other versions that the public got a look at at one time or another.
A few months before the Black/Solar Red and Wolf Grey/Pure Platinum editions saw their frenzied June 2012 retail release, we got a sneak peek at the crazy purple pair that was created for Kobe Bryant, taking color cues from the Christmas Day “Cheetah” colorway of his Zoom Kobe VII model. It was pretty clear from the start that these had little chance of becoming the potential “third colorway”, so our collective curiosity was still raging. That November brought a look at the next candidate – the enigmatic cement-speckled white/black “Oreo” version that was seen only once in a mysterious magazine photo. A few non-descript
blacked-out samples were spotted along the way, and that brought us to the “Red October” and what we thought to be last we’d see from the Yeezy family.
Now, thanks once again to well-connected collector, S. Sami, we get a look at this never-before-seen sample version that has somehow managed to slip through the cracks and elude us all this time. The reasons why you’ve never seen this pair are quite understandable considering that they are a 1 of 1 creation and until recently, were only in the possession of Kanye himself. As you can see, this incarnation appears to somewhat combine the look of the two retail colorways into one, with the general base of the Pure Platinum edition contrasted by a dark charcoal grey on the leather anaconda-scaled quarter panels for a more dramatic two-tone look.
According to Sami, who met and developed a relationship with Kanye through his position at Ralph Lauren, he was not only able to procure the pair straight from Mr. West, but also got some of the backstory as well. Somewhere in between the “Oreo” and “Red October” installments, this size 12 sample was whipped up as the potential third colorway. Word is that Kanye really liked the look, but Nike felt it was too similar to the others to make the desired impact and chose to eventually go another route. That didn’t stop their namesake from getting some good wear out of these in the studio and other destinations in the meantime before eventually giving them up.
Now before the final chapter closes on the Air Yeezy saga forever, we’ve got an unexpected look at this well-hidden pair from Kanye’s personal collection. Continue on for a detailed gallery of images of what will most likely be the last unseen Yeezy 2 colorway to emerge, and a big thanks to S. Sami for sharing the story with us and all of our readers.