Kanye West & Adidas Yeezy Brand

Kanye West remains to be one of the most fascinating and polarizing figures in popular culture. Not to mention, he is a Grammy Award-winning rapper and record producer and fashion designer.

Outspoken and prone to controversy, he became additional celebrity fodder with his marriage to Kim Kardashian. As a matter of fact, though the Biography below, he is not only a musical genius but is also full of contradictions.

Surprisingly, he’s arrogant but self-deprecating, materialistic but religious, remarkably rude but also sensitive. Rather than sublimate those conflicts, his music shows them off.

By melding the gangsta ethos with his own nerdy persona and making hip-hop that was at once deeply introspective, utterly distinct, and lots of fun, West became the most important new pop star of the 2000s — a character who made the mainstream come to him, rather than the other way around.

Kanye West Background

In the first place, he was born on June 8, 1977, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. Nevertheless,  he has won hearts of many as an American based producer, rapper, and fashion designer. In particular, he parlayed his production success in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Remarkably, into a career as a popular, critically acclaimed solo artist. On the other hand, he is the child of a photographer and former Black Panther father and a college professor mother. On the other hand, he grew up in Chicago and attended Chicago State University for one year before dropping out to pursue a career in music.

Early on he demonstrated his considerable abilities as a producer, contributing to Jermaine Dupri’s album Life in 1472 (1998) before relocating to the New York City area, where he made his name with his production work for Roc-A-Fella Records, especially on rapper Jay-Z’s album Blueprint (2001).

His Music Career Success

When he finally released his debut solo album, The College Dropout (2004), it was massively successful: sales soared, and critics gushed over its sonic sophistication and clever wordplay, which blended humor, faith, insight, and political awareness on songs such as “Through the Wire” and the gospel-choir-backed “Jesus Walks.”

The latter cut won a Grammy Award for the best rap song in 2005, and West also picked up awards that year for best rap album and best rhythm-and-blues song (as one of the songwriters of Alicia Keys’s “You Don’t Know My Name”).

On one hand, his big break came when he put together the beat for Jay-Z’s “This Can’t Be Life,” from the Roc-a-Fella co-founder’s 2000 The Dynasty: Roc La Familia album. The following year, he handled production on a third of the 15 tracks on Jay-Z’s The Blueprint (2001, Number One), including the smash “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” (2001, Number Eight) and the Nas dis track, “Takeover.”

The Genius Music Producer

West’s hot streak as a producer continued apace with his “chipmunk soul” style—sped-up vocal snippets of old R&B records—inspired, according to West, by the RZA’s production for the Wu-Tang Clan and their associates. His signature sound helped make him one of the most in-demand producers.

In the two-and-a-half years between The Blueprint and his own debut, West contributed tracks to two-dozen albums, among them: Cam’ron’s Come Home with Me (2002), Talib Kweli’s Quality (2002), Nas’s The Lost Tapes (2002), T.I.’s Trap Muzik (2003), Beyonce’s Dangerously in Love(2003), Ludacris’s Chicken-N-Beer (2003), The Diary of Alicia Keys (2003), and Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 2.0: The Gift and the Curse (Number One, 2002) and The Black Album (Number One, 2003).

Generally speaking, in October 2002, amid this whirlwind of activity, West survived a near-fatal car crash. With his jaw wired shut, West wrote the song “Through the Wire” (2004, Number 15) about the accident, rapping his lyrics (yes) “through the wire.” The funny, profoundly personal track helped build the buzz for West’s first album.

Kanye West Awards and Nominations

For his album ‘The College Dropout’, West grabbed 10 Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year and Best Rap Album. He won a Grammy for the Best Rap Album category. His album was certified as triple platinum in the United States.

Important to realize, he was in a romantic relationship with various women like designer Alexis Phifer. They were in a relationship for almost 4 years and broke-up their 18-month long engagement in 2008.

Thereafter, he dated a fashion model by the name Amber Rose, though they ended the relationship in 2010. After which West dated his longtime girlfriend Kim Kardashian.

A Genius Clothing Designer

Even though they were never released, Kanye originally designed a shoe sample for Adidas in 2006. Not to mention that the first brand to officially collaborate with the West and have a shoe line was Nike. 

In 2013, after the release of the “Red Octobers,” he left Nike. Notably, he wanted Nike to grant him royalties, but they denied his request.

As a matter of fact, he reached out to Adidas and they agreed to give him royalties. A year after the confirmation of the Adidas and Kanye’s collaboration. In February 2015 the collaboration officially debuted. “Yeezy Season 1” had been highly anticipated and celebrities such as RihannaP Diddy, and Kim Kardashian were at the showing.

Adidas Kanye West Yeezy Boost 350
If you party all night and snooze until noon, your Yeezy dreams will be crushed faster than you can say “Swish.”

Adidas Yeezy Brand Formation

Kanye is the brains behind the successful formation of the Adidas affiliate Brand Yeezy. Whereas, the Yeezy brand, which sells apparel and sneakers was created in collaboration with Adidas. Adidas Yeezy is a collaboration between the German sportswear brand Adidas and American rapper Kanye West. The Adidas Yeezy 750 Boost was the first sneaker to release from this collaboration on February 23, 2015.

 The second shoe to release was the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 “Turtle Dove”. “Yeezy Season 1” was the first apparel collection to release from this collaboration. It was officially released on October 29, 2015. The Adidas Yeezy 950 Boot was also part of this collection and it was released in four different colorways. The name “Boost” refers to a material used by Adidas. Below is the breakdown of the Adidas Yeezy categories.

Kanye West Yeezy Clothing 

Yeezy Season 1 officially released on October 29, 2015. This collection was noted for its stripped-down, ready-to-wear style, which drew on military clothing and flesh-toned colors. Prices ranged from $600 sweatpants to $3,000 jackets. Although the footwear sold out quickly, the apparel collection did not.

He revealed in a 2018 interview that he was in talks with Louis Vuitton for a $30 million apparel deal. Although the deal was not approved by the LVMH board. Leaving Kanye with no clothing partners.

After the “Yeezy Season 1” show, Adidas announced their disassociation with the Yeezy apparel. Instead, they will only be collaborating on footwear. With Yeezy Season 6, there was an introduction into several articles of clothing with Adidas Branding.

Kanye West Yeezy Footwear

As of December 2017, a total of 19 colorways and 6 designs have been released between the Adidas and Yeezy collaboration. Through a combination of factors including popularization by celebrities, Adidas Yeezy sneakers have come to be extremely influential and highly coveted.

When Kanye left social media in 2017, a group name called YEEZY MAFIA started to leak and announce anything YEEZY months before the official announcement, there has been some controversy around this group while some even thought that it was Kanye behind this account.

As, on December 3, 2013, Adidas confirmed a new shoe collaboration deal with West. On February 8, 2015, the name and design for the Kanye West and Adidas collaboration shoe were revealed. On February 10 Adidas revealed posters of the Yeezy Boost 750 “Light Brown” all throughout their flagship stores.

More related and affiliate Adidas Yeezy products include,

  1. Boost 750
  2. 350
  3. 950
  4. 350 Cleat (Turtle Dove)
  5. 350 V2
  6. Powephase (Calabasas)
  7. Boost 700
  8. 500 (Blush)

The Adidas Yeezy Effect

Now, this is tricky. We are living in the age of the Kanye effect. Streetwear magazines are constantly following what this up-and-coming fashion guru is wearing and promoting. If he rocks a pair of regular Vans, chances are those Vans will sell out.

Everything he touches simply turns to gold. Why?

This is an even trickier subject, but it seems like millennials simply respect the guy; he is musically prodigious, has a street-sense of style that people seem to like, and his arrogance, well-connectedness and media presence (in part due to his relation to the Kardashians) make people want to follow his charisma.

Kanye West is trying to be a luxury brand designer, which influences his price points. Materials-wise, no his shoes do not even come close to the workmanship spent on a pair of Loubs, Balenciagas, Common Projects, etc.

Thus, when he releases shoes that even the top celebrities and athletes are wearing, everyone wants to get their hands on them, and they are willing to spend a pretty penny to get them. Supply vs. demand drives prices–we all know that.

So in this regard, the reason that Kanye West’s shoes are so expensive makes sense, but only to a certain extent (the 950s don’t get much love, potentially due to the fact that they aren’t too aesthetically pleasing and are rather tough to pull off)


Important to realize, Kanye is not only a gifted musician and producer, but he is also a celebrated fashion designer. Especially when it comes to Clothing and Footwear design as can be seen through his Yeezy Brand which is incorporated through Adidas.

Not to mention, he is also the husband to one of the most recognized and influential internet entrepreneurs by the name Kim Kardashian.

Whereas, inasmuch as the jmexclusives is trying to find its space online, the two owns largely and widely part of the online business presences becoming the household names of the 21st-century webpreneurs.

Resourceful References;

  1. The jmexclusives: Celebrities and Public Figures
  2. Vogue: What You Need To Know About Yeezy
  3. Business Insider: Secret to building a footwear empire to compete with Nike
  4. Vox: Why Yeezys, a brand based on exclusivity, are suddenly so easy to buy
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