Laced Up is Billboard Style’s new series that dives deep into the curation of athletic brands’ sneaker collaborations with all-star musicians — from Kanye West’s Yeezys to Travis Scott’s growing Nike collection — that deserve a place in your closet.
When it comes to sneakers, Kanye West has a grip on the culture that’s just as strong as his grasp on the music industry. Sneakerheads go wild whenever the superstar drops a new collaboration, and you can expect the resale prices to skyrocket thanks to the rarity and overall hype that surround his coveted Yeezys.
West’s first foray into the sneaker world came in 2007 when A Bathing Ape teamed up with him on the super-rare “College Dropout” Bapesta. Soon after, Ye found himself working on sneakers with Louis Vuitton and Giuseppe Zanotti. But his most notable collaboration arrived with Nike in 2009.
The Nike Air Yeezy 1 and Air Yeezy 2 caused a ripple effect that had fans clamoring to get their hands on a pair. Unfortunately, the collaboration lasted only five years after West voiced his frustrations with Nike allegedly refusing to pay royalties for his designs. The break-up with Nike left the door wide open for West, and he soon teamed with Adidas in 2013 to embark on a successful relationship with Yeezy Boost.
Since the announcement of the very first collaboration in 2016 (Yeezy Boost 750 “Light Brown”), fans have shown out in droves to purchase one of the sneakers from the celebrated line.
There have been over 60 different Yeezy models and colorways that were unleashed to the public. Everyone from celebrities to athletes — including Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, basketball player Nick Young and West’s wife Kim Kardashian — have been spotted in a pair. The last decade was a strong one for West’s sneaker endeavors (the empire has reportedly grown to $1.5 billion in sales, according to Forbes) and he’s looking to keep this impressive run going with the newest edition to the popular Yeezy line.
The Yeezy Boost 350 v2 “Yeshaya” will be the first sneaker to carry Kanye’s signature Adidas line into the new year. It features a combination of white and light grey on the Primeknit upper with a transparent mesh stripe going around the base. The ribbed midsole is white, with the bottom sole taking on a gum material from the toe to the sneaker’s heel.
There is also a limited reflective pair releasing in February which will likely be heavily sought after. This sleek colorway is a great addition to anyone’s sneaker collection for its comfort and neutral style. Expect these to drop on Jan. 25 with a retail price of $220.
West is making good on a particular promise when he said everyone will get a chance to buy a pair of his sneakers following 2015’s MTV VMA Video Vanguard speech. The last few releases, like the previous June’s Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Synth,” were not difficult purchases and the resale prices were reasonable (currently retailing for $290). But don’t hesitate to collect the latest “Yeshaya”: fans historically come out in flocks for Yeezys and this pair likely will be no different.