Kanye West’s sartorial choices, both personal and professional, have been extensively catalogued. While West found success in the music world in the early-’00s, it would take him much longer to find his footing in the fashion world. Finally, after years of clothing lines that couldn’t quite get off the ground, capsule and sneaker collaborations with various brands, Kanye West was able to make his dream clothing label a reality with Yeezy.
Yeezy is the result of West’s refusal to settle for a typical “collaborator deal” (for lack of a better term) with another brand or sportswear label. Following the frantic reaction to the Nike Air Yeezy 2, West insisted that he be allowed to create a full clothing line under the Nike umbrella and receive royalty payments, often comparing himself to Micheal Jordan. Despite his repeated requests, Nike wouldn’t budge and in 2013, the brand with three stripes offered West the type of joint venture he was seeking: Kanye West signed with adidas.
It wasn’t until February 2015 that we would actually see the first full Yeezy collection, along with the first adidas sneaker West has ever designed, the Yeezy Boost 750, a chelsea boot-sneaker combination that featured a suede upper with adidas Boost technology in the sole. As has always been the case with shoes designed by West, it sold out immediately. While the fashion show’s clothing received mixed reviews, it provided the world with the aesthetic that West would work with for seasons to come. What was almost more interesting than the show itself was the way West allowed those who didn’t receive invites to view it via livestream, even showing future runway shows in theaters across the United States.
In the summer of 2015, Yeezy released the Yeezy Boost 350, a low-top sneaker that utilizes adidas Primeknit and Boost technologies to create what remains the most popular Yeezy sneaker. Over the course of the next few years, Yeezy would release several colorways of the 350 as well as other silhouettes such as the Yeezy Boost 500 and Yeezy Boost 700. In addition to the sneakers, Yeezy Season, West’s brand that is loosely tied to adidas, has become known for its particularly comfortable hoodies and slides.
While West is busy creating a variety of things—including music and other design projects—he has recently stated that Yeezy Season will continue. Keep your eyes on Grailed as the latest collections from the brand make their way to market.