11 Feb Nike releases Kanye West shoe, it sells out
Nike released the Air Yeezy 2 on Sunday, the third pair of shoes the Oregon company introduced through its affiliation with singer Kanye West.
The shoe was released at Nike.com via the Nike store’s Twitter account and sold out in 11 minutes. Footwear analyst Matt Powell has said in the past that celebrity-designed shoes typically are released in small quantities — less than 10,000 pairs and perhaps even half that — by the brands that issue them.
Nike issued a statement Monday morning about the shoe’s release:
Nike was committed to releasing the Red color way. And it was clear the consumer was asking for it.
West engaged in a one-sided public battle with Nike late last year, irked that the shoe had not been released and that he was not able to secure a footwear design agreement that would give him royalties.
West expressed his displeasure in radio interviews and during some of his concerts.
He announced that he’d signed a contract with Adidas, something the German footwear and apparel brand confirmed later.
Nike introduced its first West-collaboration shoe, the “Air Yeezy,” in April 2009. “The shoe, which takes Kanye West’s nickname Yeezy,” a Nike news release said, “draws upon the innovations from Nike’s rich sporting history and fuses them with original lines, materials, and design elements that reflect West’s unique style.”
In May 2012, Nike introduced the Air Yeezy II. A news release said of that shoe, “Forging a new form of sport craftsmanship, the Nike Air Yeezy II blends classic Nike court breakthroughs with the performance and aesthetic demands of bringing hype to a crowd of thousands.”
The Twitter announcement on Sunday called the third shoe the Air Yeezy 2. Other than a switch from a Roman numeral to a cardinal, the red-colored shoe’s profile appeared similar to the 2012 version.