Holy Yecheil, fellow nerds, we’ve been blessed with another year of Kanye antics. Praise be!
This time last year, we were in awe that ‘Yeezys for everyone’ was finally happening. We were in awe that Kanye was going full MAGA, and we were in awe of the unfiltered Twitter streams. Little did we know that in 2019 Kanye would take our astonishment into hyperspace.
It’s been a productive year for Yeezy. With infrastructure in place, Kanye strove to be more Christ-like by looking after the feet of his disciples. Providing for more fans than ever before also made him a billion-dollar entity which, if you believe his recent tax comments, is further proof that he’s doing God’s work.
But with so many releases and shenanigans, how do you keep up? Well, you look to sneaker hagiographers like us for chapter and verse. Please scroll to join us in reflecting through prayer.
‘It’s fucking obvious, right?’
After a couple of 350 restocks, a ‘Salt’ 700, and a promised Joe Rogan podcast that thankfully never came to light, Kanye declared in March that he wanted to be adidas’ creative director. Speaking with Hood By Air designer Shayne Oliver for Interview Magazine, Kanye said ‘I’ve been fighting and struggling and arguing and talking and having conversation after conversation about being the creative director of adidas,’ going on to add, ‘It’s fucking obvious, right?’
We said it then and we’ll say it now: we agree. Aside from any halo effect that he gives the brand, or any tricky trickle down of his overt politics, we just want to see Kanye given carte blanche to go after Nike in ads. How fun would that be?
Kanye selling Yeezys from a lemonade stand with his family has to be the year’s most wholesome sneaker sale. ‘Geode’ 700s were sold at stands across the country, and all proceeds were donated to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.,
One stand was manned by Kim, Kanye and North, while other families set up their own operations replete with hand-made signs.
To donate to NAMI, flip your Yeezys for top dollar and head here.
Nether (and Wherever) Regions
In a new move for Yeezy, Kanye adopted the time-honoured sneaker tactic of regional releases. The Yeezy BOOST 350 V2 dropped in colourways specific to regions like North America, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Russia.
This also saw Kanye trade on vibes established with 2016’s #Glowgate, by making ‘Reflective’ Yeezys. If today’s resale-crazed culture is anything to go by, these were some of 2019’s most successful sneakers.
Under Kanye’s Hood
Kanye covered Forbes’ August issue with the above subheading alluding to a huge Yeezy exposé. Along with the revelation that the brand was valued at $1.5 billion, the story included a spiral of hundreds of unreleased and prototype Yeezys. Yeezy Mafia broke down a number of them here:
When we ticked into August, a countdown appeared on Yeezy Supply. Theories fired every which way until Yeezy Mafia revealed that it would be a restock… and then theories got even more wild. How many sneakers would get restocked? Would this ruin the resale of previously limited releases? Expectations were exceeded when 31 styles dropped during a blitz that started at 6am on August 3 and lasted the whole day.
Clogs in the Machine
This is the best thing Kanye did in 2019 because it’s the most Kanye thing Kanye did in 2019. When we first saw the clogs, they stretched our credulity. Surely Kanye wouldn’t poke holes in Crocs and release them as fashion-forward footwear… In September, we learned that predicting Kanye’s actions is a fool’s errand. A Timothée-Chalamet-type-beat was pictured riding a motorbike with a woman, ‘Bound 2’ style, along with news that the shoes would drop in 2020.
We like this even more because ‘Yeezy Crocs’ was legitimately an April Fools gag we shelved a couple years back. And when you couple that with the fact that these are made in USA using algae, and are therefore somewhat eco-conscious, this design is the Elon Musk Cybertruck of sneakers. No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative!