The Resale History and Influence of ‘Pirate Black’ Yeezys
When it dropped on August 22 in 2015, the Yeezy BOOST 350 ‘Pirate Black’ was an extremely anticipated release. One of the more toned-down Yeezy colourways, they were inseparable from Kim K, pretty much becoming an instant wardrobe staple for the Yeezy queen. It seemed like everyone wanted a pair, and if you paid an exorbitant amount on the resell market for these between 2015-2016, we feel sorry for you. Why? Because in 2016 they brought them back!
Today, we’re breaking down the ever-so-popular Yeezy BOOST 350 ‘Pirate Black’, arguably one of the best and most influential Yeezy colourways to ever hit shelves. So, what are you waiting for, take a look down below!
The initial release of the Yeezy BOOST 350 ‘Pirate Black’ brewed major hype. Sneakerheads couldn’t contain themselves, fashion kids were keen, and even random suburban dads were excited. Made up of a Primeknit upper, and forged with a beautiful grey and ‘Pirate Black’ colour combo, a full BOOST sole was added for extra comfort. Contrasting hits lay on the heel tab in the form of stitching, with patterns making their way onto the laces. These were mean, in your face, and you already know they snapped necks!
The ‘Pirate Black’ offerings from Yeezy had major influence on both the mainstream audience and the adidas brand. The mass market gravitated towards the all-black colourway, as it was a lot more toned down than the previous offerings from Yeezy. From the loud 750 to the in-your-face colourways of the initial 350s, people who had a more low-key dress sense could finally board the Yeezy hype train.
At the same time, the explosive after-market prices and exclusivity turned these into a status symbol. Budget models followed shortly after, as replica Foot Locker receipts and countless fakes could be seen on everyone from little kids to high school science teachers. As the Three Stripes noticed the market needed Yeezy-esque kicks, the Tubular was born, alongside the AlphaBounce, creating cheaper alternatives to the explosive 350.
Worn by a number of cultural influencers before and after the initial release, including Tyga, Jay Z, Justin Bieber and, of course, Kanye, the ‘Pirate Blacks’ were practically glued to Kim Kardashian’s feet for all of 2015. Then, when the Yeezy power couple had their first child, the infant ‘Pirate Blacks’ quickly became a baby wardrobe essential. As rare as can be, resale prices went through the roof, with sellers asking well over a week’s pay cheque for the 350s.
The resell prices of both the 2015 and 2016 iterations have fluctuated majorly. According to our friends over at StockX, the 2015 release had a resale value of $982 directly after its drop, before eventually hitting its peak at $1831 on February 5 2016, just before the re-release. By comparison, the 2016 first hit $1077 on the resale market, before peaking at $1667 later on.
Since their respective debuts, both pairs have sat around the $1K mark. In the current market, the demand for Yeezy has been decreasing, with 350 V2s releasing constantly, and 700s starting to dominate, people aren't as excited as they once were about the ‘Pirate Black’ 350s. Right now, pairs are sitting just under the one thousand dollar mark with the ‘16s are going for $966 and the ‘15s for $870.
Besides the two 350s, there are a few other Yeezys that bear the notorious ‘Pirate Black’ label. One of the more obscure kicks to come out of ‘Ye’s brand is the 950 boot. Doused in ‘Pirate Black’ goodness, these were very different to the sporty 350s and complex 750s that released prior. Resale prices on these have fluctuated massively, going for over $1000, then dropping below retail. The other sneaker to be under the ‘Pirate black’ label is another 350, the North West specials, the Yeezy BOOST 350 ‘Pirate Black’ in infant sizes.
It doesn’t look like Kanye wants to drop the ‘Pirate Black’ colourway anytime soon, after a number of teasers and leaks, YEEZY MAFIA confirmed the return of the ‘Pirate Black’ colourway this time on the Yeezy BOOST 350 V2. These are an obvious nod to the OG release with a full black makeup.
Long may the ‘Pirate Black’ rule the seven seas of the sneakersphere. Continuing to rattle cages and creating an opportunity for the mass market to engage with the brand.